Like-minded people working toward a goal is an amazing thing to witness! To see individuals take ownership of their public lands and genuinely care about solid conservation work is awesome! Led by members of the West Virginia Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, on August 12th WVBHA was joined by Justin Phillips of the West Virginia DNR and members of the West Virginia Chapter of Turkeys for Tomorrow to improve turkey brood and deer habitat on ~12 acres of Stonewall Jackson Wildlife Management Area near Roanoke, WV.
Volunteers worked together to mitigate invasive autumn olives and oriental bittersweet vine. Along with invasives mitigation, volunteers girdled trees to open forest canopy, allowing sunlight to the forest floor in order to encourage forbes to grow for all game and cover for turkey brood. Girdled trees were left standing for wildlife habitat and insects that provide valuable protein for turkeys and other animals. Opening forest canopy has been a proven tactic that the WVDNR has seen work in other turkey brood habitat studies.
A great time was had by all even with the thermometer on the rise! Relationships were built and engaging conversations were had. Everyone learned so much from Justin, WVDNR, and we are looking forward to more projects in the coming years!