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Eastern Divide Restoration

The Eastern Divide Restoration Project Area covers 2,260,480 acres (3,532 square miles) of public and private lands in Botetourt, Craig, Roanoke, Giles, Bland, Pulaski, Wythe, Tazwell, and Montgomery counties in Virginia.

The Eastern Divide Restoration Project Area covers 2,260,480 acres (3,532 square miles) of public and private lands in Botetourt, Craig, Roanoke, Giles, Bland, Pulaski, Wythe, Tazwell, and Montgomery counties in Virginia.

The USDA-NRCS portion of the project will focus on Bland, Botetourt and Wythe Counties. The project area is in the Ridge and Valley province of the Central Appalachians and contains 440,724 acres of national forest system lands as well as 1,819,756 acres of private land.

Across ownerships, unfragmented oak and pine forests compose the project area and are recognized as a hotspot for biodiversity in the Central Appalachians.

The project area contains four of the main watersheds in Virginia (James, Roanoke, New, and Clinch Powell) as well as 559 miles of cold-water trout habitat with 189 miles of those miles on national forest system lands.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation-Natural Heritage Division tracks 56 species of rare, threatened, and endangered species in the project area, including 32 federally endangered species. Of the 32 federally endangered and threatened species, 28 of them are comprised of aquatic fish and mollusks.

Our desired landscape-level outcomes include improved water quality, improved terrestrial and aquatic habitat conditions, as well as improved overall ecological integrity, ecosystem functioning, and resiliency of the landscape.

Approved gricultural producers and forest landowners will work with NRCS conservationists and project partners to apply targeted livestock, wildlife and forestry management practices such as pasture and hay planting, fence, riparian forest buffer, early successional habitat management, forest stand improvement, prescribed grazing and prescribed burning. 

Partners: Virginia Wildlife Habitat Coalition, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Virginia State Leadership Team, The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation-Natural Heritage, Virginia Chapter-Society of American Foresters, Virginia Forestry Association

  • FY 2022
  • FY 2022 Joint Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Project
  • Total FY22 Funding Request: $1,790,425
Virginia: George Washington and Jefferson National Forests; Botetourt, Craig, Roanoke, Giles, Bland, Pulaski, Wythe, Tazwell, and Montgomery counties
Filed under: Wildland Fire, Research