At the time of the project start date in 2018, most forest owners in the project region were motivated to harvest and sell as much timber as possible with little investment. Many might eventually sell the land for development, and few were committed to long-term forest management or conservation. This project changes that and excludes even-aged tree management regimes that involve clear-cutting.
The Appalachian forest is a part of the world’s longest expanse of hardwood forested plateau and scientific publications highlight this property as an important climate corridor and connector for wildlife and plants. Its strategic conservation serves to further consolidate a mosaic of protected areas in the Cumberland Plateau totaling 60,000 acres.
The land also has historic features such as homestead gravesites as well as protects and enhances a biologically significant habitat for a range of threatened and endangered plant and animal species. The Chestnut Mountain forest contains many valuable ecological, educational, open space, cultural, and scenic resource conservation values.