The partner agreement will expand funding for RGS & AWS’ Forest Wildlife Specialist position in Virginia and enable RGS & AWS to hire two new seasonal Forest Wildlife Technicians to assist with field work. RGS & AWS staff will develop three active forest management project proposals on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, assess 90,000 acres of forestland, implement 3,000 acres of forest measurements, and complete one 35,000-acre watershed-scaled environmental assessment through the Forest Service’s National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process. In addition, RGS & AWS will provide a sub-award to contractors to complete NEPA writing and analysis for the environmental assessment.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests to utilize funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide critical capacity in project planning. The US Forest Service doesn’t have enough projects that have been through their planning process to meaningfully restore forest habitat conditions at large landscape scales. Through this new agreement, we’ll hire additional staff and help plan new active forest management projects beyond what the Forest Service currently has capacity to do, building a pipeline of new work to make a biologically significant impact on grouse and a broad suite of forest wildlife species in addition to helping the Forest Service implement projects on-the-ground,” said Nick Biemiller, RGS & AWS Southern Appalachian Forest Conservation Director.
RGS & AWS promotes healthy forests, abundant wildlife and conservation ethics, and envisions landscapes of diverse forests that provide homes for wildlife and opportunities for people to experience them. Ruffed grouse and American woodcock are bellwethers of forest condition; they can only persist in healthy, diverse forests. These same forests clean the air, filter water and support local communities.
For further information about this project, contact Nick Biemiller, RGS & AWS Forest Conservation Director – Southern Appalachians.
About the Ruffed Grouse Society & American Woodcock Society
Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society unites conservationists to improve wildlife habitat and forest health and promote a conservation ethic, all grounded in the tenets of science-based management practices.
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