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AMJV Priority: Accomplishments Creating Early Successional Habitat

Prescribed fire is used to control fuel loads and restore open woodlands and grasslands on the Washington-Jefferson National Forest; photo by USFS

Early successional habitats (ESH) - grasslands, scrub-shrub, and young forests - and several species that rely on them for a major portion of their life cycle are a priority for the AMJV and many of its partners. Two migratory species in particular, the American Woodcock and the Golden-winged Warbler, have garnered conservation interests in the Appalachians and rangewide because of their precipitous, long-term declines. Many other species of interest such as the Blue-winged Warbler, Prairie Warbler, and Ruffed Grouse also use these habitats and can benefit from concerted, well-planned habitat management efforts.

In the northern part of the AMJV, the Appalachian Mountains Woodcock…
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Grant: Best Management Practices Development for Golden-winged Warblers

Jeff Larkin listens to a male Golden-winged Warbler singing on territory in Sproul State Forest, PA; photo by Brian Smith.

In November 2009, the AMJV was awarded a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Early Successional Habitat Keystone Initiative grant. We will partner with Dr. Jeff Larkin at Indiana University of Pennsylvania to develop forestry-related BMPs for Golden-winged Warblers in Pennsylvania and Maryland. We will use recent research results from Golden-winged Warbler Working Group projects and will rely on expert input. Our goal is to create Best management Practices (BMPs) specific for Golden-winged Warbler, but also to integrate Golden-winged Warbler BMPs with Central Appalachian woodcock BMPs, in order to implement integrated BMPs where the ranges of the two species overlap. We also will hold several workshops in the project area…
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Nearly 20,000 Acres Permanently Protected by Two Ohio Projects

Mike Reynolds, Research Biologist with Ohio Division of Wildlife, in naturallycreated canopy gap on the Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest; photo by Brian Smith.

Two large land acquisitions in southeastern Ohio will protect habitat for many of AMJV’s highest priority species. Both acquisitions protect great legacies.

In September 2009, Ohio Division of Wildlife closed on a 3,600-acre property adjacent to the existing Trimble Wildlife Area in southeastern OH. The combined area, now 6,694 acres and the sixth largest in the state, will be known as the Wallace H. O’Dowd Wildlife Area. Mr. O’Dowd bequeathed $4.5 million to Ohio Division of Wildlife in order to acquire land for the purpose of wildlife conservation, propagation, and habitat management. The bequest was the single largest donation in the history of the…
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Protection Along the Conasauga River

Habitat for the Summer Tanger is being protected at the Conasauga Rivers; photo by Bill Majoros.

Private landowners in Georgia, as part of the Georgia Land Conservation Program, donated conservation easements totaling more than 21,000 acres across the state. Their properties fall along key waterways that serve as drinking water sources and habitat for high-priority wildlife. Within the AMJV, James Dellinger donated a conservation easement on 1,205 acres in Murray County to Georgia Departmnet of Natural Resources. The property is surrounded on three sides by lands of the Chattahoochee National Forest, contains a two-mile stretch of the Conasauga River, and supports at least 15 high-priority wildlife species.
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Important Bird Areas

Cerulean Warbler; photo by Robert Royce.

In October 2009, the National Important Bird Area (IBA) Technical Committee accepted the nomination of the Allegheny Highland Important Bird Area to become prioritized as globally important for bird conservation. The IBA, particularly important for Golden-winged and Cerulean Warblers, has large portions owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and George Washington National Forest. Private landowners are also working with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to preserve key early successional lands and water quality within the region.
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Floodplains and Highlands: Two New Protected Tracts in North Carolina

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and the North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy jointly acquired 466 acres in the Cane Creek Mountains of Avery and Mitchell Counties. The tract is within a nationally significant natural area in the Greater Roan Highlands focal area. It tops out at 5,504 feet in elevation, and is comprised of high elevation red oak forests, several rare plants, and a few large openings. It connects to other conserved lands to the north. 

In addition, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission added the “Coweeta Bottoms” (48 acres) to the Needmore Game Land area (~4,600 acres). The new tract is bottomland floodplain…
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