November 2017   

Have a happy Thanksgiving week from all of us in the AFHA! While you're relaxing before all that turkey, take the time read about some of the exciting happenings in the AFHA below. 

Destruction Towards Restoration

Haley Hutchins
CASRI is the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative, which has the goal of restoring historic red spruce-northern hardwood ecosystems across the high elevation landscapes of Central Appalachia. Most of the historic red spruce were cut down when the logging boom hit West Virginia. The Mower Tract is a piece of land owned by the Monongahela National Forest that partners with CASRI. The land was originally populated by red spruce, but has since been deforested for timber sales and the land mined for coal. In the 1970’s and 80’s, the land was restored to restoration standards of the time. The hardwoods that currently populate the area due to the previous restoration methods are outcompeting the native red spruce. Since then, we’ve learned about better restoration methods.

Restoration work at the Mower Tract

To return the habitat to the way it was, the restoration efforts seem more like destruction at the moment, but are the best option to reach the goals for the area. The Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife, and other CASRI partners have hired a team to remove all invasive trees in the area and to score the ground with a large hook on the back of the bulldozer. The removed trees are left on the ground where they are uprooted, providing a habitat for birds and other organisms. Eventually, red spruce will be re-planted in these areas and will have a better chance success due to less competition with invasive species. There is a bonus side effect of restoring the native spruce, it creates favorable conditions for the habitats of the Cheat Mountain Salamander and The Mountain Flying Squirrel.

AmeriCorps Regional Training

Grace DeMeo
This week AmeriCorps members in the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area attended a region wide training. There they gained skills regarding diversity, inclusion and community building. After that, some AmeriCorps members chose to receive Disaster Corps training, which gave them skills for aiding in disaster relief in the West Virginia area and beyond. Other AmeriCorps members received training regarding community activism and promoting organization partnerships. As you can see, our AmeriCorps members are ready to get things done!

AmeriCorps members listening diligently during Disaster Corps training.

Arthurdale Crafts Festival

Nora Sutton
On October 21, Arthurdale Heritage welcomed about 400 people for their first annual Craft Show & Fall Festival. There were over 20 West Virginia crafters and artisans in attendance, some demonstrating and teaching their craft. Many of the visitors were local families who came to enjoy storytelling by Jo Ann Dadisman, take a hayride, get their faces painted, or create Halloween crafts. This festival, plus AHI's annual New Deal Festival in July, raised funds for critical maintenance on the site's historic Center Hall. 

If you shop on you can support AFHA with no extra cost.
Find out more here.

Old Fashioned Christmas
Join the Beverely Heritage Center for an old fashioned Christmas and Contradance December 2nd. Write a letter to Santa and enjoy caroling in downtown Beverly. 

More Information Here

Saturday November 18th join us at the Purple Fiddle for a local music showcase. 

Visit Artspring's Facebook Page for More Information

Thanksgiving Buffet at Blackwater Falls
The Smokehouse Restaurant at Blackwater Falls will be serving a Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 23. 

Make your reservation here

Kumbrabow State Forest
Need a place to walk off all that Thanksgiving turkey? Visit Kumbrabow State Forest! Kumbrabow is open to the public even during this cold season. Winter cabins are available too!

Learn More Here
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Our mailing address is:
Appalachian Forest Heritage Area
P.O. Box 1206
Elkins, WV 26241