News

June 2021: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend,

The Wolf River Conservancy is proud of its continued land conservation work that has so far protected 18,000 acres within the Wolf River watershed, mainly in the floodplain of the Wolf River. We are now pleased to announce a $25,000 grant from the Cornell Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative that will allow us to build on the protection of land by restoring its ecological integrity.  The grant award for our new Wolf River Cornerstone Habitat Restoration Project happens to coincide with the U.N Decade on Ecosystem Restoration which began in 2021.

The Wolf River Cornerstone Habitat Restoration Project is located on two properties acquired by the Conservancy in 2016 and 2018 and subsequently added by the state of Tennessee to the Ghost River State Natural Area. These properties total 86 acres and act as the northwestern “cornerstone” of the State Natural Area. The Ghost River State Natural Area and the adjoining Wolf River Wildlife Management Area are designated as an Important Bird Area by The Audubon Society, and are rich in bird species such as the Prothonotary Warbler and many others.

The Cornerstone Project fronts the Wolf River and contains a variety of habitat types: bottomland hardwood forest, freshwater marsh, mixed pine and hardwoods, loblolly pine plantation, and former agricultural fields dominated by exotic grasses.  In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), the Wolf River Conservancy has already begun the restoration of a 13-acre agricultural field to native warm-season grasses and wildflowers which will benefit grassland and other bird species.

With the support of the Cornell Land Trust Bird Conservation grant, the Conservancy and its partners will improve over 20 acres of additional habitat to increase biodiversity of wildlife, while also protecting a rare, remnant plant community and engaging volunteers and community members.  The project includes the removal of a small loblolly pine plantation to allow regeneration of native hardwoods, planting a 3-acre fallow row-crop field with native perennial wildflowers and young hardwoods, tackling exotic invasive plant species, installing nest boxes for a variety of bird species, installing interpretive signage, and other actions.  This project will not only enhance conservation values of the area but will also act as an educational destination for land restoration actions that benefit many bird and plant species.

Leading this project for the Conservancy will be Ryan Hall, Director of Land Conservation and Cathy Justis, Director of Education. Thanks to both Cathy and Ryan for spearheading this grant opportunity and leading this very important restoration project. 

Please visit our website at wolfriver.org to see the wide variety of activities we have available for you to enjoy this summer.

 

Thanks for your continued support!

Posted by Cathy Justis at 8:31 PM