Christopher D. Barton is an associate professor of forest hydrology and watershed management at the University of Kentucky. He is currently working in the areas of ecosystem restoration, reforestation, and remediation, primarily in stream and wetland habitats and mined lands. He currently serves as the co-leader of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative’s science team.

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In the Appalachian mountain region, the loss of the American chestnut, along with the visible scars of coal-related surface mining, have had a doubly devastating effect. However, it is in viewing these two ecological disasters together that the possibility of a solution emerges. King of the Forest The forests of eastern North America were once …

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