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Restoring the Dismal.

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is working hard to save its threatened Atlantic white cedars. In September 2003, Hurricane Isabel destroyed more than 3,600 acres of these rare trees, also called junipers, in a matter of hours. The swamp, which was the site of a 2001 AMERICAN FORESTS' Global ReLeaf planting, had the largest mature population of them before the storm. Great Dismal Swamp straddles the border between Virginia and North Carolina.

Refuge officials began removing the debris by helicopter last year, hoping to clear about 1,100 acres by the end of this year. By hauling out the fallen trees, the soil will be exposed to sunlight and cedar seeds will be able to germinate quickly.

"There is, I think, a strong possibility that we're going to put cedar back where cedar was," refuge forester Bryan Poovey told the Washington Post. Atlantic white cedar once flourished along the coastal plains, but its numbers were drastically reduced by extensive drainage and logging. Only 2 percent of the original Atlantic white cedar range remains, and it will take decades for the trees to mature and restore the swamp to what it was.

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AMERICAN FORESTS planted a million oak, cedar, cypress, and tupelo across 1,800 acres of an acquired clearcut site to help restore habitat for black bear and the endangered southeastern short-tailed shrew and improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
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Title Annotation:Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to save cedars
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2006
Words:237
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