Mission: The Powell River Project conducts research and education programs to enhance restoration of mined lands and to benefit communities and businesses in southwestern Virginia's coalfield region.

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Recent Submissions

  • Establishing Native Trees on Legacy Surface Mines 

    Burger, James A.; Zipper, Carl E.; Angel, Patrick N.; Hall, Nathan; Skousen, Jeffrey G.; Barton, Christopher D.; Eggerud, Scott (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2013-11)
    More than one million acres have been surface mined for coal in Appalachia. Today, much of this land is unmanaged, unproductive, and covered with non-native plants. Establishing productive forests on such lands will aid ...
  • Re-establishing American Chestnut on Mined Lands in the Appalachian Coalfields 

    French, Michael; Barton, Christopher D.; McCarthy, Brian; Keiffer, Carolyn; Skousen, Jeffrey G.; Zipper, Carl E.; Angel, Patrick N. (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2015-06)
    American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was formerly a major component of forests throughout the Appalachian coalfield and beyond. Chestnut’s strong, lightweight wood was naturally rot-resistant, making it a preferred timber ...
  • Managing Invasive Exotic Plant Species on Legacy Mine Lands 

    Adams, Mary Beth; Sanderson, Tyler; Sena, Kenton; Barton, Christopher D.; Agouridis, Carmen T.; Angel, Patrick N.; Zipper, Carl E. (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2019-02)
    More than 2 million acres have been surface mined in the Appalachians (Zipper et al. 2011; OSMRE). Today, many mining firms are attempting to establish functional forests as a post-mining land use. However, many of the ...
  • Establishing Riparian Woody Vegetation for Constructed Streams Using the Forestry Reclamation Approach 

    Zipper, Carl E.; Krenz, R. J.; Sweeten, S. E.; Agouridis, Carmen T.; Barton, Christopher D.; Angel, Patrick N. (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2018-03)
    Construction and renovation of streams and riparian corridors on mined lands have become common activities in Appalachia. Surface mining for coal can disturb ephemeral and intermittent streams, and may disturb permanent ...
  • The Forestry Reclamation Approach: An Essential Tool for Controlling Invasive Exotic Plants on Active Mine Sites 

    Zipper, Carl E.; Angel, Patrick N.; Adams, Mary Beth; Sanderson, Tyler; Sena, Kenton; Barton, Christopher D.; Agouridis, Carmen T. (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2019-05)
    Mining companies use the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) when reclaiming mined land with the aim of establishing functional forests as a post- mining land use. Invasive exotic plant species (IES) can interfere with ...
  • Re-Establishing Pollinator Habitat on Mined Lands Using the Forestry Reclamation Approach 

    Horn, Tammy; Angel, Patrick N.; Zipper, Carl E.; Ulyshen, Michael; French, Michael; Burger, James A.; Adams, Mary Beth (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2017-02)
    Pollinators are animals that play an essential role in the reproduction of many plants by transferring genetic material, in the form of pollen, from male to female flower parts. Because pollinator communities are under ...
  • Reforestation to Enhance Appalachian Mined Lands as Habitat for Terrestrial Wildlife 

    Wood, Petra; Larkin, Jeff; Mizel, Jeremy; Zipper, Carl E.; Angel, Patrick (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2013-11)
    Surface mining is widespread throughout the Appalachian coalfield, a region with extensive forests that are rich in wildlife. Game species for hunting, non-game wildlife species, and other organisms are important contributors ...
  • The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative 

    Angel, Patrick; Davis, Vic; Burger, Jim; Graves, Don; Zipper, Carl E. (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2007-07-18)
    The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) is a cooperative effort by the States of the Appalachian Region with the Office of Surface Mining to encourage restoration of high quality forests on reclaimed coal ...
  • Planting Hardwood Tree Seedlings on Reclaimed Mine Land in Appalachia 

    Davis, Vic; Franklin, Jennifer; Zipper, Carl E.; Angel, Patrick (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2010-02)
    The Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) is a method of reclaiming surface coal mines to forested post-mining land use (see Forest Reclamation Advisory No. 2). “Use proper tree planting techniques” is Step 5 of the FRA; ...
  • The Forestry Reclamation Approach 

    Burger, Jim; Graves, Don; Angel, Patrick; Davis, Vic; Zipper, Carl E. (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2007-07-18)
    The Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) is a method for reclaiming coal-mined land to forest under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). The FRA is based on knowledge gained from both scientific research ...
  • Selecting Materials for Mine Soil Construction When Establishing Forests On Appalachian Mine Sites 

    Skousen, Jeffrey G.; Zipper, Carl E.; Burger, James; Barton, Christopher; Angel, Patrick (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2011-07)
    The Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) is a method for reclaiming coal-mined land to forest (FRA Advisory #2, Burger and others 2005). The FRA is based on research, knowledge, and experience of forest soil scientists and ...
  • Tree-Compatible Groundcovers for Reforestation and Erosion Control 

    Burger, Jim; Davis, Vic; Franklin, Jennifer; Zipper, Carl E.; Skousen, Jeffrey G.; Barton, Christopher; Angel, Patrick (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2009-07)
    Productive native forests create economic value for landowners, produce raw materials for wood-based products, and provide benefits such as watershed control, water quality protection, carbon storage, wildlife habitat, and ...
  • Mine Reclamation Practices to Enhance Forest Development Through Natural Succession 

    Groninger, John; Skousen, Jeffrey G.; Angel, Patrick; Barton, Christopher; Burger, James; Graves, Don; Zipper, Carl E. (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2007-07)
    Succession is a term used to describe natural changes in plant community composition over time. In the forested Appalachian region, disturbances from storms, fire, logging, or mining can disrupt or destroy established ...
  • Low Compaction Grading to Enhance Reforestation Success on Coal Surface Mines 

    Sweigard, Richard; Burger, James; Zipper, Carl E.; Skousen, Jeffrey G.; Barton, Christopher; Angel, Patrick (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2007-07)
    This advisory describes final-grading techniques for reclaiming coal-surface mines to forest postmining land uses. Final grading that leaves a loose soil and a rough surface increases survival of planted seedlings and ...
  • Loosening Compacted Soils on Mined Sites  

    Sweigard, Richard; Burger, James; Graves, Don; Zipper, Carl E.; Barton, Christopher; Skousen, Jeffrey G.; Angel, Patrick (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2007-07)
    Because successful surface-coal mining businesses must move earth materials efficiently, mining operations today use large and heavy equipment. Track dozers and haul trucks used for mining can weigh in excess of 100 tons ...
  • Selecting Tree Species for Reforestation of Appalachian Mined Lands 

    Davis, Vic; Burger, James A.; Rathfon, Ronald A.; Zipper, Carl E.; Miller, Christopher R. (Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, 2012-08)
    The Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) is a method for reclaiming coal surface mines to forested post-mining land uses (FR Advisory No. 2, Burger and others 2005). The FRA’s fourth step is to plant native trees for ...
  • A Study to Determine the Preference of Nesting Box Entrance Hole Size of Sialia sialis (Eastern Bluebird): Year 2 

    Burkart, C. A.; Russo, A.; Aldridge, A.; Aldridge, N.; Collins, D.; Fitzgerald, N.; Franklin, J.; Fraley, B.; Greer, A.; Hall, L., IV; Johnson, T.; Kilgore, R.; Lawson, J. D.; Lindsey, M.; McKnight, G.; Skeens, M.; Slemp, S.; Townsend, R.; Woods, N. (Virginia Tech. Powell River Project, 2011)
    For a second breeding season, nesting box preference was tested between boxes with large entrance holes and boxes with the traditional entrance hole diameter. As in the previous season, birds (Eastern Bluebirds, chickadees ...
  • Long-Term Mine Soil Weathering and TDS Release 

    Orndorff, Zenah W.; Daniels, W. Lee; Beck, Mike; Eick, Matthew J.; Zipper, Carl E. (Virginia Tech. Powell River Project, 2011)
    The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) of 1977 contained a number of contentious provisions including return to original contour (AOC), long-term liability bonding periods, and return to “equal or better” ...
  • Selected Carbon Dynamics as Functional Indicators of Restoration Success: Progress From the First Two Years 

    Krenz, Robert J.; Schoenholtz, Stephen H.; Zipper, Carl E. (Virginia Tech. Powell River Project, 2011)
  • Wildlife Response to Surface Mine Reclamation in Southwest Virginia 

    Latimer, Chris E.; Stauffer, Dean F. (Virginia Tech. Powell River Project, 2011)

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