National Forest Foundation

Restoring Southern Appalachian Highland Habitats - for the Birds and the Community

NFF Grant Partners and Projects

scroll

The Highlands of Roan Conservation Area on the Roan Mountain massif straddles thousands of acres on the North Carolina and Tennessee border, encompassing sections of both the Cherokee and Pisgah National Forests. For three decades, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) has led broad partnerships to protect and restore threatened high elevation Appalachian bald communities in the Highlands of Roan — which is registered as a State Natural Area in both states, a National Audubon Society Nationally Significant Important Bird Area, and one of the most crucial repositories of biological diversity in the United States.

With the generous help of the National Forest Foundation's Matching Awards Program, SAHC garnered more than 1500 hours of volunteer labor to restore 21 acres of Appalachian grass and shrub bald habitat. One of SAHC’s new recruits for balds management, Sean Rubin, summarized the volunteer sentiment well when he said, "I'm happy to participate in maintaining the world's oldest mountains, right in our backyard."

The grant also enabled SAHC to revisit previously restored sites and assess our impact on the golden-winged warbler, a neotropical migratory songbird that has experienced catastrophic population decline. We were excited to find that habitat management has allowed golden-winged warbler populations in the Roan to remain stable.

However, the most important accomplishment made possible by this grant was the establishment of the Roan Highlands Feral Hog Working Group — a group of more than ten agency and private partners focused on the threat of recently introduced feral hogs on the fragile high elevation ecosystems of the Roan Highlands. The group developed a feral hog monitoring program, removed more than 40 feral hogs, and engaged local universities who began research into feral hog behavior and impacts. We educated local landowners about the ecological, agricultural, and human health impacts of this destructive invasive species, and many landowners are now eager to be involved in the project.

Thank you to the NFF for your support, making it possible for SAHC and our partners to continue protecting, managing, and restoring globally significant native communities in the Highlands of Roan!


Related Posts

Youth Discover the Importance of Stewardship in Southern Oregon

In June 2019, 20 high school students from Southern Oregon’s Rouge Valley met as strangers under towering ponderosa pines in the forested mountains above the town of Ashland. Selected through a competitive interview process, these juniors and graduating seniors would spend the next five weeks learning the basics of ecological restoration and forestry as part of Lomakatsi Restoration Project’s Ashland Watershed Youth Training & Employment Program (AWYTEP).

Read more

NFF Matching Awards Program Supports Invasive Weeds Surveying in Oregon

Wallowa Resources' Wallowa Canyonlands Partnership is in the thick of the field season. Our field season means being in the thick of noxious weeds. We're currently using funds from the National Forest Foundation Matching Awards Program to manage some of the most pernicious weeds in our region, including rush skeletonweed, whitetop, meadow hawkweed, and common bugloss.

Read more

Citizen Scientists in Colorado Monitor Fish Populations with NFF Grant

The fisheries crew for the White River National Forest has been working for years to develop a better understanding of the existence and whereabouts of native cutthroat trout populations. While the fisheries team had already surveyed many front-country tributaries, much was still unknown about remote streams in the Forest. In 2015, Eagle River Watershed Council, with support from the National Forest Foundation, teamed up with Matt Grove, Aquatic Specialist, and the fisheries crew to find a solution to this problem.

Read more

Share this post on social media

Comments

Support on-the-ground conservation

Help ensure the NFF and our partners can continue doing important work like this on our National Forests.

Donate Now