Cerulean warbler

NFWF Announces Second Year of Grants from the Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program

 $1.4 million will fund nine grants to restore habitat for forest birds, brook trout and hellbender 

Cerulean warbler | Credit: Melanie C. Underwood

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 13, 2018) –The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced more than $1.4 million in grants to restore forest and freshwater habitat in central Appalachia, including Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The grants will generate more than $2.1 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of more than $3.5 million. 

Central Appalachia boasts some of the world’s oldest river systems and most biologically diverse temperate deciduous forests. These projects represent the second round of grants made under the Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program, which was launched in 2017 to help protect and restore this unique and globally significant habitat. 
“Collectively, the nine grants we announce today will improve habitat for some of the region’s most iconic species, including eastern brook trout and hellbender, as well as golden-winged and cerulean warblers,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The grants will promote stewardship of the region’s forests and farmland, with a particular focus on improving road-stream crossings and reducing erosion from dirt and gravel roads.” 
The Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program​ receives funding from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Forest Foundation, and in western Pennsylvania, the Richard King Mellon Foundation. And, NFWF is pleased to announce that Shell Oil Company has signed on as a new partner this year.

“Through our collaboration with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, we are able to partner with more organizations that do real work in our communities to help wildlife, their habitats and urban waters thrive and flourish,” said Tonya Williams, GM Appalachia, Shell Oil. “This work creates sustainable, long-lasting environmental and social improvements in the communities that surround our business.” 

The projects announced today will work with more than 180 different landowners to improve management on more than 78,000 acres of forestland, improve 11 miles of streamside roads, prevent 140 tons on sediment annually from entering streams, and remove seven barriers to fish passage, opening up more than 12 miles of upstream habitat.

“Farmers and private landowners are using conservation practices to benefit both their operations and wildlife at the same time,” said NRCS Acting Chief Leonard Jordan. “Through partnerships like this one, we are providing landowners the tools they need to voluntarily integrate wildlife-friendly practices on their land. These tools are especially important in Appalachia, where the majority of land is privately owned and the land management decisions of landowners can have positive impacts on wildlife.”

“Given that the majority of Northeastern forests are owned by families and individuals, the American Forest Foundation is thrilled to partner with NFWF and others to support the outreach and engagement of this critical landowner audience,” said Christine Cadigan, American Forest Foundation’s director of northeastern woodlands. “Effective landscape-scale forest conservation in the Northeast must engage family woodland owners in sustainable forest stewardship.”

The Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program was established in 2017 and invests in on-the-ground restoration and planning to restore the quality of forest and freshwater habitats in the Central Appalachian-Allegheny Plateau landscape, including the Appalachian regions of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. To date the program has awarded 24 grants totaling more than $3.1 million, and leveraging $4 million in matching funds.

A complete list of the 2018 grants made through the Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program is available here​.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $4.8 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at​.​