In West Virginia, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (Partners Program) specializes in upland habitat restoration and enhancement with livestock exclusion fencing and division fencing. Loss of forested upland areas degrades habitat for wildlife that are dependent on these areas for breeding and as dispersal corridors.
Restoration and enhancement through exclusion fencing and division fencing
Our fencing typically involves constructing two- or three-strand, high-tensile electric fence along woodlands to limit the access of cattle or other livestock to forests. This keeps cows from degrading timber value and results in higher pasture productivity as nutrients are deposited in pastures. The fencing is easy to maintain and repair, and is highly beneficial to fish and wildlife habitat, water quality and farm operation. We also construct livestock exclusion fencing to enhance and protect wetlands.
Benefits of upland forest fencing include:
- Improved fish and wildlife habitat
- Improved herd health
- Reduced run-off and sedimentation to streams
- Improved water quality
- Protection of timber value
- Improved pasture productivity
Restoration and enhancement through tree planting
The Partners Program provides thousands of shrub and tree seedlings to the public for planting upland and riparian areas in West Virginia. Landowners can get the free seedlings if they sign an agreement that requires the trees to remain in place for a minimum of 10 years.
Restoration and enhancement of red spruce habitat
The Partners Program works with numerous partners in the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI), particularly landowners interested in restoring red spruce forests in West Virginia with the goal of connecting mountain-top populations of red spruce. By doing so, we hope to connect disjunct populations of the threatened Cheat Mountain salamander and the endangered West Virginia northern flying squirrel.