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A well-managed and operational Conservation Gateway is in our future! Marketing, Conservation, and Science have partnered on a plan to rebuild the Gateway into the organization’s enterprise content management system (AEM), with a planned launch of a minimal viable product in late 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, reach out to for more info!
central appalachians whole systems conservantion nature conservancy

The Heart of the Appalachians

A mountainous region stretching from eastern Tennessee to northern Pennsylvania, the Central Appalachians represent one of the world's foremost examples of intact, diverse forests and well-connected freshwater systems. This globally significant landscape provides countless natural benefits, including fresh drinking water for over 20 million people, and a home for more than 200 globally rare plants and animals.  The forests, wild rivers, and scenic mountain vistas of the Central Appalachians support natural diversity that few temperate places on earth can rival.
As population expands, natural spaces such as the Central Appalachians play an ever more important role in meeting basic human needs and helping communities near and far to thrive. Yet, the region faces tremendous pressure from energy development, a legacy of past incompatible forest management, invasive species, and climate change.  
Working across the six states within this unique and diverse landscape, The Nature Conservancy provides a leading role in advancing conservation action at a "whole system" scale in the Central Appalachians.  

How We Work

The six Conservancy chapters in the Central Appalachians join forces to create solutions to the looming environmental problems facing the region, including the increasing changes wrought by climate change and the expanding footprint required to develop and transport energy to market.  The Conservancy is a leader in demonstrating that healthy, intact forests and rivers are essential for the well-being of our ecosystems, economy, and culture.  The Central Appalachians Whole System program aims to prove this concept in one of the world's most unique and inspiring landscapes and to extend this leadership to other regions around the globe.  
Together, we are working with partner agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, industries, regulators, and other stakeholders across jurisdictional boundaries to increase environmental conservation, protection, and restoration efforts across the region.
Within this Central Appalachians Whole System Gateway site, you will find resources and data on how we are working cooperatively to address the large-scale impacts of energy development, the mounting pressures of climate change, and the urgency of forest restoration and conservation.


Program Leads

Campbell Moore, Central Appalachian Program Manager,
Thomas Minney, West Virginia State Director,
Michael Lipford, Virginia State Director,
Bill Kunze, Pennsylvania State Director,
Elizabeth Gray, Maryland State Director,
Terry Cook, Tennessee State Director,
David Phemister, Kentucky State Director,​
Photo: Kent Mason