West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

“More than 80 percent of West Virginia is forested,” says Upland Game Biologist Keith Krantz with WVDNR's Wildlife Resources Section. “Forty years ago, almost 20 percent of our forest was in the 0-to-20 year-old age class; that percentage has fallen to about 8 percent today, as tree growth has significantly outpaced tree cutting. Over 70 species of young-forest-dependent wildlife are in significant decline due to habitat loss.” On properties they manage, Wildlife Resources personnel have begun active timber management, as well as controlled burning, to create young forest habitat. Adds Krantz, “We have embraced the Young Forest Initiative and begun educating and training our staff as well as other professionals and private landowners to recognize its benefits.”