The Monongahela National forest, the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and WVU Adventure Club have teamed up to host a National Pulic Lands Day event Sept 26.
Volunteers are being sought to help plant native red spruce seedling on the forest and adjacent refuge lands to protect high elevation streams and connect spruce in the higher elevations to the floor of Canaan Valley.
People willing to assist in the red spruce planting project should meet at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 10 am Sept 26.
Gloves, sturdy shoes or boots, long pants and appropriate rain gear should be brought by each volunteer, along with food and water. National Public Lands Day 2009 T-shirts will be given to the first 100 volunteers.
The project is part of a long-term landscape scale effort by a consortium of partners cooperating as the High Elevation Working Group to converve high elevation habitats in West Virginia.
A major focus of the group's efforts is on restoring a functioning red spruce-northern hardwood forest ecosystem across both public and private lands.
Among the wildlife species which will benefit from the additional planting of red spruce in Canaan Valley are the threatened Cheat Mountain Salamander, the West Virginia norhtern flying squirrel, which was only recently removed from the federal list of threatened or endangered species; rare birds such as the northern goshawk and saw-whet owl; and other species that inhabit the limited spruce-fir forests in West Virginia.