Pisgah National Forest. Credit: Selena N. B. H.

Project Name:
North Mills River Riparian Restoration

Pisgah National Forest, N.C.

Key Activities:

  • Planting 1,800 trees across 16 acres
  • Restoring a riparian area and important watershed
  • Providing wildlife habitat

Project Description:
American Forests and the U.S. Forest Service are reforesting 16 acres of North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest with 1,800 trees to restore an important riparian area and watershed with native trees, which will also secure wildlife habitat for aquatic species.

Why This Project:
The North Fork Mills River in Pisgah National Forest is an important watershed for the area, providing drinking water for surrounding communities and habitat for fish and other aquatic species. Recently, a stream rehabilitation project was completed to help stabilize the stream banks and improve wildlife habitat. Now, streamside vegetation is needed to secure the stream bank and create a healthy riparian ecosystem.

The area has also been beset by non-native and invasive species. This project is planting a variety of tree species — sycamore, birch, white oak, serviceberry, witch hazel, hornbeam and willow — to help restore native vegetation and increase biodiversity.

Why the North Fork Mills River:
In 1968, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress “to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.” The North Fork Mills River is eligible for inclusion as a wild and scenic river and has been declared by the state of North Carolina to be maintained for its use as a drinking water supply and as habitat for trout.

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