Report from West Virginia

From an e-mail message sent to me today by my friend George Beetham Jr.

The habitat of this flying squirrel is spruce, particularly the red spruce that loves mountaintops in West Virginia. There are other species of flying squirrel, but only the northern West Virginia flying squirrel is endangered because of the loss of habitat due to logging and coal mining. Dave Saville of the Conservancy has made a program of collecting spruce cones, planting the seeds, and then organizing planting parties, mostly in the Canaan Wildlife Refuge. He gets students from WVU to join the planting parties and they get some kind of credit for their volunteer work, as well as getting a very wonderful course in red spruce ecology. So at some point this flying squirrel will get a larger habitat. Dave also sells red spruce seedlings so other people can plant them, raising money for his project as a nice result.

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