Preserving endangered species is critically important to preserving the complex ecosystem and natural resources of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s border lands. FRIENDS provides both much needed funds for scientific studies and volunteers who act as research assistants to the biologists who study threatened species.
The Appalachian/Blue Ridge forests’ ecoregion encompasses major portions of the central and southern Appalachians. This region stretches north from northeastern Alabama and Georgia, through eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, and into central Pennsylvania. The Blue Ridge Parkway and its border lands occupy a central swath through this ecoregion. Here, the large variety of landforms, climate, soils, and geology, coupled with a long evolutionary history, has led to one of the most diverse assemblages of plants and animals found in the world’s temperate deciduous forests.