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SAHC Protects and Improves 1,000 Acres in the Highlands of Roan

Male Golden-winged Warbler detected in habitat improvement areas on Little Hump Mountain; photo by Chris Coxen.
Last winter, SAHC protected the 600-acre Grassy Ridge tract within the Highlands of Roan, providing critical connectivity between U.S. Forest Service land and North Carolina Yellow Mountain State Natural Area lands. The new acquisition permanently protects several important habitat types. The site features high elevation heath and grassy balds, northern hardwood and high elevation red oak forests, and substantial old-field successional habitat that currently supports breeding Golden-winged Warblers and American Woodcocks. The 357-acre Yellow Mountain Gateway tract, featuring rich cove, high elevation red oak, northern hardwood forests and riparian habitat along its streams, was also protected on the Roan. A formal bird survey has not been completed on this property, but we expect it to support Wood Thrushes.

Finally, SAHC wrapped up its National Forest Foundation (NFF) Roan Massif Community Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project. Through NFF and Appalachian Trail Conservancy support, SAHC restored or maintained over 35 acres of high elevation grassy bald habitat on Round Bald, Jane Bald, and Grassy Ridge and created 7 acres of Golden-winged Warbler habitat on Little Hump Mountain. This project continued our Golden-winged Warbler restoration activities on Little Hump, which began in 2011. In 2013, SAHC found two singing males utilizing habitat first created in the fall of 2011.