What Is the
Appalachian Forest National
The Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area works in 16 counties of West Virginia and 2 counties of western Maryland on conservation, forestry, cultural heritage, asset-based tourism and community development. With the overall theme of forest heritage, the initiative works with willing partners to explore and enhance the relationship between the forested mountains and the people who live here.
Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area explores Forest Heritage - the ongoing story of how the forest shapes history and culture, and how nature and human use shape the forest - through our theme topics of the Natural Forest, Forestry, Forest History, and Forest Culture.
With the overall theme of forest heritage, the initiative works with willing partners to explore and enhance the relationship between the forested mountains and the people who live here.
slideshow (being worked on)
Beginning in 2001,
Appalachian Forest Heritage Area’s stakeholders and board shared
agreements on mission,
vision, and values shaped our efforts.
The Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area (AFNHA) was designated as a National Heritage Area in March 2019 recognizing the national significance of our forest heritage. Learn about National Heritage Areas, the history of AFHA and our long road to NHA designation, and our current National Heritage Area Management Planning. For quick version of what this means for AFNHA, see our Frequently Asked Questions about Appalachian Forest NHA designation.
Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area covers the central Appalachian highlands of West Virginia and western Maryland. Our counties include Garrett and Allegany counties in Maryland, and in West Virginia Preston, Mineral, Hampshire,Morgan, Barbour, Tucker, Hardy, Grant, Pendleton, Upshur, Randolph, Braxton Webster, Pocahontas, Nicholas, Greenbrier.
AFNHA conserves, develops, interprets and promotes a regional network of forest-based resources and experiences, benefiting communities and the environment throughout the highlands of West Virginia and western Maryland. Through direct initiatives, partnerships, and our AFHA AmeriCorps program AFHA has accomplished or assisted with a variety of conservation, interpretation, heritage development, community, and tourism initiatives.
Some current AFNHA initiatives include:
AFNHA AmeriCorps program places members with partner sites to
accomplish conservation, community heritage, and historic
preservation projects. See
AmeriCorps for more
information about doing a service year with us. AFNHA AmeriCorps
serve at partner organizations, such as historical societies, local
museums, and community organizations, with USDA Forest Service and
other conservation agencies, and more.
Our Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area Pollinator Initiative brings together willing partners to raise awareness about and carry out projects to support and protect pollinators.
We participate in and support a number of regional collaborative efforts, such as Potomac Highlands Weed and Pest Management Area (PHCWPMA) and Rivers and Gorges Weed and Pest Management Area to help control non-native invasive species, and Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI) to restore highlands red spruce ecosystems.
See VISIT section of this website for more initiatives, including the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center museum and visitor center, and the AFNHA Thematic Tour Maps.