The American chestnut was once a species of great ecologic and economic importance.  A fast-growing timber tree, the chestnut also provided a reliable nut crop for wildlife, humans, and livestock.  Unfortunately these benefits disappeared with the accidental importation of chestnut blight, a fungal pathogen that functionally removed the American chestnut from eastern forests.  The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) is working to breed blight-resistant chestnuts that will once again play a role in our forests.  Kendra Gurney, TACF, will present on organization’s efforts to restore the species. Join her at Tin Mountain Conservation Center on Thursday, march 14 at 7pm to learn more.

Kendra Gurney is the New England Regional Science Coordinator for The American Chestnut Foundation.  She is responsible for guiding the New England chapters of TACF in their work with an American chestnut breeding program, designed to incorporate blight-resistance and regional adaptability.  Kendra received a BS in Environmental Conservation: Science from the University of New Hampshire in 2005 and a MS in Natural Resources: Forestry from the University of Vermont in 2008.

The goal of TACF is to develop a blight-resistant American chestnut tree via scientific research and breeding, and restore the tree to its native forests along the eastern United States. In her presentation, Kendra will provide background on the American chestnut, the devastation caused by chestnut-blight and early restoration attempts. She will also highlight local work and current research aimed at helping to restore this important species.

Tin Mountain’s Nature Program Series is sponsored in part by L.L. Bean and the Evenor Armington Foundation, and the Residence Inn by Marriott North Conway. Donations of $3/person or $5/family are appreciated; members are free. For more information call 447-6991.