Tag Appalachia

Ecological Resilience in Floyd County, VA

This is the third post in my Appalachian Biodiversity series, in which I take a closer look at Floyd County, Virginia. Floyd is where I live and focusing on where you live is, if nothing else, practical. As biodiversity thins rapidly all around us, I believe that we who want to help must focus on the ground beneath our feet. As more and more land goes under the plow for agriculture, is clearcut for industry, and paved over for development, everywhere is important. If this sounds histrionic, think back over the past year.
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Benefits of Healthy Ecosystems

What is the value of an intact ecosystem? Why should somebody who is struggling to make ends meet in their land management change what they're doing? When will they reap the rewards and in what ways? Or what do they risk losing if they don't begin to pivot to more ecologically sound practices? This is the second post from my Appalachian Biodiversity series.
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Appalachian Biodiversity

A view from a ridge top in Floyd
This post is based on a presentation I made to Sustain Floyd on Appalachian Biodiversity. It was my pitch for them to take on conservation and ecology issues here in Floyd, Virginia. As I work to break it into manageable sized posts, I understand why I have not had time or energy to post anything since August: The presentation contains at least five posts worth of content! So, this is only one portion of the full presentation. I will be adding more episodes and posts from this presentation. This post covers Appalachian biodiversity as a whole and offers a broad overview of the ecological stakes.
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Remember the Ocelot

Ocelot, photo by Leonardo Prest Mercon Ro, licensed via iStock
Extinctions and endangered species are on my mind this week. Who have we lost? And what are we poised to lose? The monarch butterfly flutters top of mind, but so too the Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha), the wood bison, and a small spotted cat I believe once used to hunt the forested mountains of Appalachia: the ocelot.
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Straining to See the Appalachian Forest for the Trees

Witch hazel growing along a hickory oak forest beside a stream in Floyd, VA
The journey to create more wild beauty on our property and help conserve Appalachia is full of twists and turns: learning the Latin names, absorbing the The Nature Conservancy's evaluation of Appalachia, “alongside the Amazon Rainforest and the Kenyan grasslands as one of the most globally important landscapes for tackling climate change and conserving biodiversity,” remembering the abundant landscape enjoyed by First Nations peoples, working with the NRCS to try to understand the ecology on our property, the Natural Communities Classification of Ecological Groups and Community Types, The Nature Conservancy's resilient landscapes mapping tool, removing invasives (including Asian bittersweet, stiltgrass, and fescue grass), planting wildflower meadows, the monarch butterfly's addition to the Endangered Species List, planning a native pollinator garden, and the dedication to keep looking out at the long view while I dig in the soil at my feet.
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