Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program

The Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program invests in on-the-ground restoration and planning to restore the quality of forest and freshwater habitats in the Central Appalachian-Allegheny Plateau landscape, including the Appalachian regions of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.  Key partners in the effort are the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the American Forest Foundation.

The program will award up to $1.3 million in the first year. Funding in subsequent years will depend on availability.

Representative species of interest for forest and riparian zones include cerulean warbler, golden-winged warbler, prairie warbler, American woodcock, black-throated blue warbler and Louisiana waterthrush. Freshwater systems include eastern brook trout, eastern hellbender, and threatened and endangered mussel communities. Legacy and ongoing stressors stemming from urban development, energy exploration, extractive industries and agriculture have extensively fragmented forest and aquatic habitat.  Water quality degradation due to runoff from these same stressors and point sources has impaired the capacity of streams and rivers to sustain aquatic life.

Funding priorities for this program include:

  • Forest Conservation, Connectivity and Management: Improving management of forest blocks for age and structural diversity to demonstrate improved forest conditions for birds and other wildlife (esp. golden-winged and prairie warbler, American woodcock, black-throated blue warbler and cerulean warbler).
  • Healthy River Systems: Restoring water quality and aquatic connectivity to enhance the long-term persistence of native species including eastern brook trout, eastern hellbender and freshwater mussel communities. Projects should target restoration between and within allopatric brook trout populations, in proximity to known eastern hellbender habitat, and to benefit freshwater mussel communities and their host species.

Click here to access all information about this program, including application information, announcements, and due dates.