WVPA Sharing

‘One acre at a time’ program aims to help promote ecosystem diversity and health

By Matt Combs, The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — When people cannot see the bigger picture because they are too concerned over the details, there is a saying that they “cannot see the forest for the trees.”

In West Virginia, environmentally speaking, perhaps the phrase should be reversed to “cannot see the trees for the forest.” Based on estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture, West Virginia has some 12 million acres of land under the forest canopy making it, by percentage, one of the most forested states in the nation. With the massive forested acreage in the state, some could be lulled into believing that everything is environmentally sound and balanced, that because of quantity there must be quality.

While stretching from border to border, almost all of West Virginia’s forests have been timbered, many multiple times. That timbering, especially in the early stages, resulted in forests today which share the same age and don’t offer the complexity needed to support a wide range of species.

For Amanda Bassow, Central Appalachian forests offer a unique opportunity to maximize an environment that has tremendous biodiversity and quality by practicing the best forest and stream management practices.

“They’re (local forests) in pretty good shape but there’s a lot that we can do to improve the quality and habitat,” Bassow said. …

Read more: https://www.register-herald.com/news/one-acre-at-a-time-program-aims-to-help-promote/article_56569857-f044-577b-b909-d4ebbf8478fc.html

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