Plum Creek, Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, AFHA AmeriCorps plant 3,000 black cherry, 2,000 red spruce seedlings near Gauley Watershed in West Virginia to mark state's Arbor Day

SLATY FORK, West Virginia , April 13, 2012 (press release) – Plum Creek Timber Company announced today that it is teaming up with the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA) and AFHA AmeriCorps to plant thousands of red spruce and black cherry seedlings in support of sustaining natural forests on Thursday, April 12 and Friday, April 13. April 13, the second Friday in April, is West Virginia’s Arbor Day.

According to Mark Doty, community affairs manager for Plum Creek, this year the team will plant 3,000 black cherry and 2,000 red spruce seedlings near the Gauley Watershed. The seedlings will be planted on an old strip mine bench near the watershed, which currently only supports a few scattered trees. The same groups collaborated in 2010 and 2011 to plant hardwood and spruce seedlings in the Gauley River Watershed.

“We wanted to celebrate West Virginia’s Arbor Day with this planting while also beautifying an area with new forest,” said Doty. “We are proud to continue this tradition with AFHA and AmeriCorps as partners and also remind the community of the importance of responsible and sustainable forestry.”

Doty said the project’s success has been based on the immense help from volunteers, students and residents of West Virginia, who help plant each of the seedlings by hand. Plum Creek provides the land for the effort.

“This is really a collaborative effort with many pitching in to make it a success,” said Doty. “The waterways along the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area are important to area residents and outdoor enthusiasts, and through the tree planting efforts those areas will be even more beautiful and enjoyable in the future.”


Plum Creek is the largest and most geographically diverse private landowner in the nation with approximately 6.6 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the United States and wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest. For more information, visit

The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA) is a regional, grassroots effort to integrate central Appalachian forest history, culture, natural history, products and forestry management into a heritage tourism initiative to promote rural community development. This partnership works in West Virginia and western Maryland to explore the relationship between the Appalachian highlands forest and the people who live within it. For more information, visit

The AFHA AmeriCorps team works with partner organizations to conserve forests and communities. AmeriCorps members help enhance assets to benefit communities by providing community service on conservation, heritage development, and historic preservation projects. The AFHA AmeriCorps program is sponsored by Volunteer West Virginia, the state's Commission for National and Community Service. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit

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