Central Appalachians

Photo credit: Doug Rogers

Central Appalachians Regional Fire Learning Network brings together partners from four landscape collaboratives covering Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky. The landscapes covered by the Network include expansive pine and oak forests and small patch ecotypes adapted to and dependent on fire to sustain and restore diversity. 

We work collaboratively to build a fire culture that values innovation, diversity and learning by establishing the enabling conditions for landscape-scale fire management. This includes projects such as implementing memorandums of understanding (MOUs), building public support, and expanding the use of drones in aerial ignitions. While each landscape has unique projects, partners, and challenges, we work together at the regional level to share challenges and develop increasingly inclusive fire partnerships, implement adaptive management and learning, build capacity, offer training, and diversify the fire management workforce. 

  • The Potomac Headwaters Landscape Collaborative covers western Maryland and sections of the panhandle of West Virginia. Partners include the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forestry, Heritage and Wildlife, the National Park Service, county municipalities, and the Monongahela National Forest. The Collaborative also works closely with several research institutions, including the Appalachian Laboratory (part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science) and Arcadia University.  
  • The Keystone Appalachians Landscape Collaborative covers the large swath of Pennsylvania covered by the Central Appalachians. Keystone Appalachians partners include the Nature Conservancy, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Penn State University, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Pennsylvania Prescribed Fire Council.
  • The Cumberland River Landscape Collaborative covers 252,000 acres of Eastern Kentucky. Partners include federal and state agencies, the Nature Conservancy, the Daniel Boone National Forest, and the Kentucky Prescribed Fire Council.
  • The Heart of the Appalachians Landscape Collaborative engages state, federal and private partners in western Virginia and eastern West Virginia. Partners include the USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Dept of Wildlife Resources, Virginia Dept of Forestry, and Virginia Dept of Conservation and Recreation.