“We are delighted to announce the launch of our first website (www.appalachianhabitat.org),” stated J. Wayne Anderson, President of the Appalachian Habitat Association (AHA). “And, we wish to thank John Morris of COVdesigns of Covington for his design and development of the site.”
The Appalachian Habitat Association (AHA) was established in 2018 to maintain and promote a science-based approach to the management of wildlife habitat for the benefit of game and non-game species on publicly owned federal and state lands. The focus of the work being done by the AHA is primarily, but not exclusively, in the Virginia counties of Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Highland, Rockbridge and Craig. Representatives to the AHA, all volunteers, include individuals involved with all wildlife and habitat for all forms of wildlife from insects, birds and bees to deer, quail, turkey, bear, grouse and the many varieties of fish and plant life.
The AHA promotes education about wildlife habitat through various means including awarding college and graduate scholarships to Virginia students enrolled in programs associated with wildlife, wildlife biology, wildlife habitat, forestry, conservation, silviculture, invasive species control and other courses of study that are appropriately associated with benefiting wildlife.
“The AHA is currently accepting applications for scholarship, which will be awarded in the amount of (1) $5,000, (1) $3,000 and two $2,000 scholarships,” said Ed McCoy, Secretary. “Applications are available online at www.appalachianhabitat.org/scholarships and are due May 31, 2020,” he concluded.
The AHA also promotes education about wildlife habitat by supporting research efforts that may assist in better understanding wildlife needs and wildlife habitat development.
“The AHA raises funds and in-kind contributions from various private and public sources through multiple outreach efforts,” explained Jim McCoy, Vice-President. “One of those activities is our annual banquet, scheduled to take place this year on October 2, 2020 at the August Expo in Fishersville.” The funds from that event and contributions are used to directly help pay for and/or establish improved wildlife habitat on federal and state public lands in the previously named counties of Virginia, and to fund the scholarships and education programs and research.
In order to provide a comprehensive program of support for habitat improvement on publicly owned state and federal lands, the group works closely with many other groups and agencies including the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), the United States Forest Service (USFS), the Wild Turkey Federation (WTF), The Virginia Deer Hunters Association (VDHA), Izaak Walton League of America, the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), the Ruffed Grouse Society and Quail Forever to name just a few.