Starting in 2010 The American Chestnut Foundation received $60,000 over two years to establish some of the first plantings of blight-resistant American Chestnuts in the southeastern United States. Approximately 3,000 of the most advanced American Chestnuts were planted on SFI partners Georgia-Pacific and MeadWestvaco land, near Rupert, West Virginia; Big Island, Virginia; and Bridgestone, Tennessee. The project offered a robust start to Chestnut re-establishment and provided critical baseline information needed to perpetuate the process of species restoration. Through this grant the Foundation created a Best Management Practices manual for American Chestnut reintroduction. Additionally a web-based database was created where restoration participants enter follow up reports on landscape level progress relating to the project.
Supporting the SFI Standard
This project supports Objective 4 of the SFI 2010-2014 Standard by providing critical long-term information needed to restore the American chestnut to its historic range, and addressing knowledge gaps to ensure the future success of American Chestnut restoration. Objective 4 requires that program participants "manage the quality and distribution of wildlife habitats and contribute to the conservation of biological diversity by developing and implementing stand- and landscape-level measures that promote a diversity of types of habitat and successional stages, and conservation of forest plants and animals, including aquatic species." One of the indicators (4.2) is a program to protect threatened and endangered species.
In addition to The American Chestnut Foundation, partners included the Tennessee Tree Farm State Committee and the SFI Implementation Committee, as well as SFI program participants Georgia-Pacific and MeadWestvaco (MWV).
About The American Chestnut Foundation
The mission of The American Chestnut Foundation is the restoration of the American chestnut tree to its historic range, from Maine to Georgia. The American chestnut, a valuable food source and source of high-value wood products, was functionally removed during the first half of the 20th Century by chestnut blight, an exotic fungal disease.
- Press Release- West Virginia Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation and MeadWestvaco Committed to Species Restoration as part of SFI Conservation Grant Project
May 2, 2011
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