Last January, the AMJV received a Regional Conservation Partnership Program award from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to enhance Cerulean Warbler habitat in the region. Since then, the partnership conducted meetings with all state partners involved about the implementation of the project and hired four new staff members to oversee habitat management. Landowner sign up will now begin in earnest in early 2016. Currently, staff and partners are designing flyers and other outreach materials to mail to over 700 landowners in West Virginia and 1,000 in Pennsylvania to raise awareness and promote the forest management component of the project.
Implementing this project could not be accomplished without the enhanced capacity of new AMJV staff. Kyle Aldinger is our West Virginia Coordinator and Amanda Duren our Pennsylvania Coordinator. They will work with Natural Resources Conservation Service staff and other partners in their states to promote habitat management for Cerulean Warblers on private lands via technical assistance and outreach. They will also serve as the primary points of contact for landowners interested in enrolling in the project. In Pennsylvania, field foresters Slater Hafer and Kevin Yoder will work directly with private landowners to develop management plans that follow the Cerulean Warbler Forest Management Guidelines and assist landowners in implementing plans on their property. In addition, Green Forests Work and The American Chestnut Foundation hired Kylie Schmidt, based at the University of Kentucky, to work with landowners in coordinating the surface mine reforestation portion of the project.