Last week the U.S. Forest Service announced funding awards for ten new projects under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) program. The recipient of one of those awards was the Grandfather Ranger District in North Carolina. Located within the Pisgah National Forest, the Grandfather Ranger District is an area of 330,360 acres southeast of the Blue Ridge Parkway, between Asheville and Blowing Rock.
Over the next 10 years, the award of $605,000 will be used primarily for the following projects:
* Restoration of the natural fire regime to fire adapted vegetation to benefit threatened and endangered species, restore native forests and woodlands, benefit early successional wildlife species, and reduce wildfire costs and severity.
Essentially, the goal is to increase the number of prescribed burns on 36,795 acres of pine and oak forests. The Forest Service typically burns about 2,000 acres a year, but with CFLR funding, will increase that to 6,507 acres per year.
* Control non-native invasive plants to benefit threatened and endangered species at Linville Gorge and restore riparian vegetation at Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River.
* Treat eastern and Carolina hemlock for hemlock wooly adelgid to maintain genetically and ecologically important hemlock forest in the face of a non-native pest.
For more information on the program, please click here.