Md. conference highlights coal mine reforestation

FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) — Discussions of birds and coal mines usually involve canaries. Now researchers say golden-winged warblers are finding a foothold in reclaimed Appalachian strip mines.

Restored woodlands are common ground for the biologists, foresters and coal-industry representatives meeting at the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative conference Wednesday at Frostburg State University.

Organizers say more than 80 people are attending the event highlighting the restoration of landscapes altered by coal mining in the Eastern United States.

Researchers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania say reclaimed strip mines provide attractive habitat for golden-winged warblers, a species listed as rare to uncommon in Maryland.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it’s using computers to identify priority areas for actively managing the birds’ habitat in western Maryland.

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