Year Planted: 2010Trees Planted: 240Location: Virginia
Project entails planting 240 seedlings in a restoration attempt at Fridley Gap, George Washington National Forest, Virginia. The goal of this project is to restore ecosystem function to Fridley Run, the headwater stream at Fridley Gap where eastern hemlock trees are dying because of a hemlock woolly adelgid infestation. Hemlock woolly adelgid is an exotic insect pest that has been wiping out hemlocks throughout the eastern U.S. since the early 1980's. Loss of hemlocks at Fridley Gap is likely to increase the amount of light reaching the stream and therefore the water temperature. This could threaten the already small brook trout population that makes its home in Fridley Run. The brook trout is a native species whose numbers have been declining rapidly through its range. It requires cool water temperatures for survival and in Virginia, in the southern portion of its range, stream temperatures are already close to the thermal limits for the species. Fridley Run is a particularly important site because it is the headwaters to the Smith Creek watershed, which is part of the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture project's efforts to preserve and restore brook trout habitat in the U.S.
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