In January, the AMJV partnership received an $8 million Regional Conservation Partnerships Program award for it Cerulean Warbler Appalachian Forestland Enhancement Project. This project will allow partners to work with private landowners to enhance 12,500 acres of forest habitat on private lands for Cerulean Warblers and other wildlife, demonstrating the benefits of active forest management for conserving priority species. Approximately 1,000 acres of reclaimed mine lands will also be restored to forestland, including planting 5000 blight-resistant American Chestnuts donated by The American Chestnut Foundation.
AMJV staff and partners in the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and Kentucky are currently planning to organize 4-5 workshops for managers and landowners to be held in the late summer and early fall of 2015. Each of the workshops will last 2-3 days and involve teaching best management practices found in the Cerulean Warbler Habitat Management guidelines as well as field trips to demonstration sites. The U.S. Forest Service is providing funds to assist with these workshops.
In addition, positions are being filled that will be crucial in implementing contracts with private landowners and conducting forest management. These positions include RCPP coordinators in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as two Pennsylvania Field Foresters. These positions should be filled in the coming months.
The 5-year project will be modeled after the NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife Programfor Golden-winged Warblers, using the recently released Cerulean Warbler Habitat Management Guidelines to guide conservation practices in delineated focal areas.