Partners are critical to the success of the Grandfather Restoration Project. The partners are not only an important part of the collaborative planning process, but they play a big role in implementing the work on the ground. In FY2015, partners worked over 8,000 hours on the Grandfather Ranger District for a total value of over $200,000! Below is the partner match work that was reported for the 2015 CFLR annual report.
- The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission supported wildlife activities across the district, including stocking of 4,000 native trout, mowing of 375 acres of wildlife openings, and 13 habitat surveys.
Invasive Species Treatments:
- Wild South worked for over 500 hours on invasive species eradication, focusing on Paulownia, within the Linville Gorge wilderness and outside the wilderness within the Table Rock fire area.
- The Wilderness Society assisted in preparing reports for Hemlock Wooly Adelgid treatments.
- Wild South inventoried hemlocks needing treatment in Linville Gorge.
- The Friends of the Mountain to Sea Trail volunteers worked over 1,800 hours on trail maintenance for the Mountain to Sea Trail. Friends of Linville Gorge and Gorge Rats volunteers worked over 1,300 hours on trail maintenance in Linville Gorge Wilderness.
- The Linville Gorge Mapping project worked over 1,000 hours on a comprehensive trail and ecosystem mapping project in the Linville Gorge.
- The Southern Area Wilderness Stewards worked over 800 hours in addition to contracted work on trail maintenance within the Linville Gorge Wilderness.
- The Vermont Youth Conservation Corp provided matching funds for the relocation of the China Creek Trail
- The Nature Conservancy provided support for fire implementation with 2 qualified firefighters as well as education and outreach with the creation of a “Fire Learning Trail” of interpretive signs and accompanying social media.
- The North Carolina Forest Service and the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission provided support for prescribed fire implementation and participated in joint-agency landscape burns.
Timber and Silviculture:
- Partners, including MountainTrue and The Nature Conservancy, provided support for identification of future project sites to be implemented under the new Farm Bill CE authority for Southern Pine Beetle recovery.
- Following the Lake James Prescribed burn, collaborative members from The Nature Conservancy and NC Wildlife Resources Commission completed immediate post burn monitoring following the Southern Blue ridge Fire Learning Network methodology.
- The Wilderness Society continued work on fire effects monitoring in the Linville Gorge Wilderness with a Duke University Masters Student. The data, collected in FY2014, fed into the analysis and thesis, completed in FY2015.
- MountainTrue and Forest Service botanists monitored invasive species treatment effectiveness in the Wilson Creek area following treatments. Invasive species monitoring was also completed in the Blue Gravel Fire area and the Bald Knob Fire area, as well as the Roses Creek Timber Sale area.
- In FY2015, an AmeriCorps intern at Mountain True analyzed the camera data collected in FY2014 and provided results showing that more animals use the burn units (both more in numbers and higher diversity of species). However, due to the small sample size no statistically significant results could be determined.