ABRA has unveiled the first phase of its National Forest Integrity Project (NFIP). The project, part of ABRA’s Conservation Hub, is a monitoring program created to track proposed and ongoing projects in the three National Forests that are located within the Central Appalachian Highlands (Monongahela in West Virginia and George Washington and Jefferson in Virginia).
The NFIP will support informed review of proposed Forest Service land and water management projects, as well as other public and private-use projects in the National Forests. The link to the NFIP is https://nfip-abra.hub.arcgis.com.
The NFIP is believed to be the first NFS monitoring project of its kind in the nation.
The first phase of the NFIP covers ongoing projects within the Monongahela National Forest. This Spring, projects in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests will be added to the NFIP.
Projects within the National Forests are important to the lands and communities surrounding them due to the number of streams and rivers that flow out of and though them. The health of the National Forests and the vegetation and wildlife within them are critical to the overall ecological balance of the Central Appalachian Highlands.
The importance of closely monitoring National Forest projects is underscored by an objection filed in January with the Eastern Region office of the U.S. Forest Service (NFS) concerning the environmental impact analysis NFS conducted for the Greenbrier Southeast project in Pocahontas County, West Virginia (see story, below, on Page 2)