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State Director named for Nature Conservancy’s West Virginia chapter

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Thomas Minney of Elkins, director of The Nature Conservancy's Central Appalachians program for the past eight years, has been named the Conservancy's West Virginia state director. The 44-year-old Gilmer County native replaces former TNC state director Rodney Bartgis, who resigned last July.

As director of the TNC's Central Appalachians program, Minney helped plan and initiate multi-state cooperative conservation programs, including one involved in the restoration of the region's high-elevation red spruce forest. Prior to that, Minney was conservation programs director for the conservancy's West Virginia Chapter, where he worked with private landowners, industry representatives and state and federal researchers and scientists on conservation projects across the state, including the Beury Mountain Wildlife Management Area in the New River Gorge, additions to the Monongahela National Forest and the conservation of private tracts in Smoke Hole Canyon. He has been directly involved in protecting more than 6,500 acres of the West Virginia landscape.

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Forest Service Restoring Upper Greenbrier watershed

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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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Canaan Refuge Tour

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The West Virginia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy's, Mike Powell, takes WCHS TV 8 on a video tour of red spruce and balsam fir forests of Canaan Valley.

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Flying High!

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Scientists work to protect a flying squirrel and its red spruce home.

The new April/May issue of Nature Conservancy magazine has a 10-page feature spread on the West Virginia northern flying squirrel and red spruce forest restoration being done by CASRI!


Monongahela National Forest receives $3 million to improve stream quality and restore red spruce forests

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia will receive nearly $3 million for improving stream quality, wildlife habitat and forest resiliency under a multistate Landscape Restoration Partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The partnership will invest $30 million in 12 states this year. In West Virginia the money will be used to "leverage the technical and financial resources by collaborating not only with the Forest Service but also with our nonfederal partners across the state," said Kevin Wickey, state conservationist for the NRCS.

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Who are we?

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.

Contact Us

For more information, and volunteer opportunities, please contact Cindy Sandeno:

Cindy Sandeno
304-636-1800 ext. 194