Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friends of the Cheat seeks volunteers to plant trees

Volunteers are needed to help with planting more than 3,000 hardwood trees on a former strip mine in Albright. Friends of the Cheat has partnered with Camp Dawson Natural Resources, the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative and the International Coal Group (ICG) to do the planting.
Volunteers should meet at the North Preston Quick Stop, on WVa 26, Albright, at 9am, April 2. The group will carpool to the planting site, which is just across the Cheat River, but requires four-wheel drive to access. If you arrive after 9am, look for signs directing you to the planting site. Plantings tools will be provided, but you may bring your own. The Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee will provide a cold lunch for the volunteers.
To volunteer: Andrew Miller, 304-329-3621 or amiller@cheat.org.
This project represents a new approach in surface mine reclamation. Surface mines across Appalachia were often reclaimed by heavily compacting the soils and seeding a thick mat of grasses, which prevents the natural succession of the native trees and shrubs, leaving an ecological desert. The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, a partnership of state and federal agencies, academia, citizen groups and industry, promotes a method call the Forestry Reclamation Approach that emphasizes using loosely compacted soils to allow for tree growth. The Albright site was "ripped" by Camp Dawson Natural Resources in October 2010 to loosen the soil. ArborGen, commercial tree nursery in Summerville, SC, has donated 3,300 hardwood tree seedlings to this project. Ten blight-resistant American chestnut seedlings also will be planted. Info: http://arri.osmre.gov.

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