Grandfather Restoration Project

Deputy Forest Supervisor Diane Rubiaco talks with partners involved with the Grandfather Restoration
Deputy Forest Supervisor Diane Rubiaco talks with partners involved with the Grandfather Restoration Project.

The Grandfather Restoration Project is a 10-year effort that will increase prescribed burning and other management practices to more than 40,000 acres of the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest. The project will restore the fire-adapted forest ecosystems and benefit a variety of native plants and wildlife, control non-native species and protect hemlocks against hemlock woolly adelgids.

The Grandfather Restoration Project is one of ten new projects announced by Secretary Vilsack in February 2012, under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) program. The Secretary announced an initial funding of $605,000 for the first year of the project.

A wide variety of partners are collaborating with the Forest Service on the project, including Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, N.C. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, WildLaw, Wild South, the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, Trout Unlimited, The Southern Forest Network, Land-of-Sky Regional Council, Western North Carolina Alliance, National Wild Turkey Federation, The Wilderness Society, Appalachian Design, Friends of Wilson Creek, and The Foothills Conservancy.

Click here to read the original project proposal.

Click here   to read “Tracking Wildlife Responses to Fire Restoration in Southern Appalachia." 

 

The project seeks to:

•           Restore the natural fire regime to fire adapted vegetation to benefit T&E species, restore native forests and woodlands, benefit early successional wildlife species, and reduce wildfire costs and severity.

•           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 woolly adelgid to maintain genetically and ecologically important hemlock forest in the face of a non-native pest.

•           Use small diameter materials for specialty furniture and building products such as railings. Use small diameter wood for firewood, pulp, and if a facility is available, bioenergy. 

•           Use off-site species as saw timber. Use white pine from restored plantations as saw timber, pulp, firewood and specialty wood products.

 

Project benefits include:

•           Increased populations of fire-dependent threatened and endangered species.

•           Decreased coverage and abundance of non-native invasive plants at Linville Gorge, Wilson Creek, and across the project area. 

•           Decreased fuel loads and a change in fuel model on 36,260 acres of prescribed burns. Increasing populations of fire associated wildlife species. 

•           Five hundred acres of the highest priority hemlock forest protected and maintained.

•           Create or maintain at least a dozen jobs.