Flying squirrel fund helps protect rugged West Virginia national forest land
As part of the Thunderstruck Project, a decade-long effort led by The Nature Conservancy to protect nearly 2,000 acres of former commercial timber company land in West Virginia, a large swath of red spruce and hardwoods will be preserved as part of the Monongahela National Forest.
The West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel Fund, administered by the Service, contributed to the purchase of the 415-acre property.
The latest addition to the Thunderstruck Project is also the highest in elevation, with areas reaching up to 4,600 feet above sea level. According to endangered species biologist Barb Douglas, the mountainous area is home to not only the flying squirrel but also to other federally protected species, including the Virginia big-eared bat, the Cheat Mountain salamander and the running buffalo clover. Read more.