AMJV PARTNERSHIP RECEIVES AWARD FROM NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION TO ENHANCE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FORESTS IN VIRGINIA
Partners contributing forest management, coordination, landowner outreach, practitioner training and other activities for this project include the American Bird Conservancy, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Laboratory (UMCES), The Nature Conservancy in Virginia, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and USDA Forest Service.
“This new initiative will expand ongoing efforts of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and our partners in implementing on-the-ground habitat work and help affect positive change for wildlife and habitat at a landscape scale,” said Virginia DWR Executive Director, Ryan Brown.
The project area is part of the AMJV Virginia Highlands FOCAL LANDSCAPE, an area identified by AMJV partners as being of high importance to this project’s priority bird species and other wildlife, including timber rattlesnake, rusty patched bumble bee, Allegheny woodrat and eastern spotted skunk.
“Most of the golden-winged warbler’s nesting habitat falls on private lands, including Appalachia, where 80 percent of forested acres are privately owned,” said Virginia NRCS State Conservationist Dr. Edwin Martinez Martinez. “Helping landowners improve the health and diversity of their forests is the key to protecting this and other at-risk species. We look forward to expanding partnerships strengthened through our Working Lands for Wildlife initiative in this latest collaborative conservation effort.”
“This project is part of a broader effort across the Central Appalachian region to improve habitat for declining migratory songbird species,” said Emily Cohen, Assistant Professor at UMCES Appalachian Laboratory. “Together with projects in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, we will be pairing new technologies, automated audio recording units, with more traditional bird monitoring techniques to assess the responses of bird populations to forest management activities.”
The Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program is a partnership initiative involving the NRCS, the USDA Forest Service, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Shell Oil Company and the Richard King Mellon Foundation in western Pennsylvania.