RGS & AWS Highlights
There is a great need for more active forest management in the region. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Eastern Grouse Working Group report from December 2020 identified that ruffed grouse have declined 71% since 1989 in the Southern Appalachians. At the same time, National Forests in the Southern Appalachians contain only 1.3% young forests (trees aged 0-20 years). The situation is clear, active habitat management is not happening at the pace and scale that is needed to sustain grouse and other wildlife populations. To highlight the dire situation on our National Forests, we recently wrote a blog post in collaboration with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
To address the need for habitat diversity, RGS & AWS has broken new ground in delivering our New Model of Working Forests and building our new conservation program here in the Southern Appalachians. Our Year 1 accomplishments include $1.3 million awarded in grants and agreements, funding secured to impact 6,700 acres, the completion of 500 acres of habitat management at the North Cumberland WMA in TN, four Stewardship Agreements with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) on the Cherokee NF, George Washington and Jefferson NFs, and the Daniel Boone National Forests, and hiring a NC Private Lands Wildlife Forester. We are currently in the process of hiring a KY All-Lands Wildlife Forester and a VA Public Lands Wildlife Forester.
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This Region in the Media
NORTH CAROLINA EASTERN
SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN CHP-NC
APPALACHIAN HIGHLANDS (VA/TN)
H. C. EDWARDS
Mount Sidney, VA