The Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI) is a partnership of diverse interests with a common goal of restoring historic red spruce-northern hardwood ecosystems across the high elevation landscapes of Central Appalachia. It is comprised of private, state, federal, and non-governmental organizations which recognize the importance of this ecosystem for its ecological, aesthetic, recreational, economic, and cultural values.
Red spruce and red spruce-northern hard-wood forests once dominated the highest elevations of West Virginia, covering more than 500,000 acres. Extensive logging in the late 1800s and early 1900s reduced much of the mature forest in the Appalachians, including the red spruce-dominated stands. Today only about 29,600 acres of high elevation red spruce forests remain in the State.
CASRI’s success continues as 2013 proved to be an extremely productive and fruitful year:
Over 1.2 million dollars for land conservation purchases and on-the-ground restoration projects in 2013, totaling $2,088,141 raised to date.
Over 570 acres of high-elevation lands placed on a trajectory to develop into functioning red spruce ecosystems, bringing our restoration total to nearly 1,500 acres.
62,780 red spruce seedlings and 9,331 native plants were planted upon high priority conservation and restoration sites.
Volunteers dedicated 822 hours of their time working to restore red spruce.
Over 250 acres of non-native invasive species were treated in high-elevation red spruce systems.
Over 89,000 acres of land across the Monongahela National Forest were updated for soil survey and ecological site inventory.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has undertaken the Upper Greenbrier North Watershed/Aquatics Restoration Project to restore Pocahontas County forest waterways to their original state. The purpose is to restore the streams and the surrounding watersheds back to the condition they were found prior to the major impacts of the late 1800s – early 1900s. The main indicator we use is the brook trout response. Brook trout require cold, clean water and abundant pool habitat. The trout are our indicator of success.
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This website has been established and is being managed by the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy to support the work of the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI).
CASRI is a partnership of diverse interests with a common goal of restoring historic red spruce-northern hardwood ecosystems across the high elevation landscapes of Central Appalachia. It is comprised of private, state, federal, and non-governmental organizations who share a recognition of the importance of this ecosystem.
For more information, and volunteer opportunities, please contact Cindy Sandeno:
304-636-1800 ext. 194