The Forestry Reclamation Approach: guide to successful reforestation of mined lands
Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-169. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 128 p.
Appalachian forests are among the most productive and diverse in the world. The land underlying them is also rich in coal, and surface mines operated on more than 2.4 million acres in the region from 1977, when the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act was passed, through 2015. Many efforts to reclaim mined lands most often resulted in the establishment of grasses, shrubs, and nonnative plants. Research showed that forests could be returned to these mined lands, also restoring the potential for the land to provide forest ecosystem services and goods. Scientists and practitioners developed a set of science-based best management practices for mine reforestation called the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA). To help practitioners implement the 5 steps of the FRA and achieve other restoration goals (such as wildlife enhancement), 13 Forest Reclamation Advisories have been written since 2005 and others are underway. The 12 Advisories that are most directly relevant to the Appalachian region are being published here in a single volume for the first time. These Advisories were originally posted on the Web site of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI), an organization created in 2004 by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement along with State mining regulatory authorities in the Appalachian region. Members of ARRI come from the coal mining industry, government agencies, and research institutions. The goal of this initiative is to promote forest reclamation and restoration on mine lands through planting of high-value hardwood trees, increasing those trees’ survival rates and growth, and speeding the establishment of forest habitat through natural succession. To accomplish these goals, ARRI promotes and encourages use of the FRA by reclamation specialists. The Advisories are intended to serve as easy-to-understand guides to implementing the FRA; they provide specific recommendations as well as illustrations and photos to demonstrate tasks. The reformatted Advisories in this volume contain updated information and the latest additional resources to guide reclamation practitioners and other stakeholders in the reestablishment of healthy, productive forests in the Appalachian region.
Keywordsmineland reclamation, reforestation research, Forest Reclamation Advisory, Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, Appalachia, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
Adams, Mary Beth, ed. 2017. The Forestry Reclamation Approach: guide to successful reforestation of mined lands. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-169. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 128 p. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-169