Restoring Forests and Associated Ecosystem Services on Appalachian Coal Surface Mines

Zipper, C.E., J.A. Burger, J.G. Skousen, P.N. Angel, C.D. Barton, V. Davis and J.A. Franklin

Publication Date:

Although forested ecosystems are valued by society for both marketable products and ecosystem services, forests have not been restored on most Appalachian mined lands because traditional reclamation practices, encouraged by regulatory policies, created conditions poorly suited for reforestation. Reclamation scientists have studied productive forests growing on older mine sites, established forest vegetation experimentally on recent mines, and identified mine reclamation practices that encourage forest vegetation re-establishment. Based on these findings, they developed a Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) that can be employed by coal mining firms to restore forest vegetation. Scientists and mine regulators, working collaboratively, have communicated the FRA to the coal industry and to regulatory enforcement personnel.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Environmental Management