The Appalachian Forest Renewal Initiative (AFRI) began in August 2012 and reflects the U.S. Forest Service State and Private Forestry intent to actively participate in forest restoration in the Appalachian coal mining region. The Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry is leading the initiative in collaboration with U.S. Forest Service Region 8 under a 5-year cooperative agreement with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The Landscape The Appalachian region contains the largest block of interior forest in the East that is home to breeding populations of many species of conservation concern. Forests cover 86 million acres (65 percent) of the region, providing wildlife habitat and recreation, protecting the region’s waters, and supporting an extensive wood products industry. Appalachian forests shaped the region’s history and influenced its culture. The history of coal mining and reclamation across the Appalachian coalfields is well documented. Coalfields cover a broad area from western Pennsylvania to northern Alabama.
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