Media Releases

EcoForesters and Audubon North Carolina Offer New Golden-winged Warbler Program for Private Landowners

New partnership will provide funding and habitat management guidance for western NC landowners interested in helping a declining songbird.

DURHAM, NC—EcoForesters, in collaboration with Audubon North Carolina, will soon be offering financial assistance and habitat management guidance to Mitchell and Yancey County landowners who are interested in restoring critical bird habitat for Golden-winged Warblers. 

Audubon North Carolina has contacted landowners in the past and welcome continued participation for this priority bird, but there is still a lot of work to be done. With much of the land in western North Carolina in private hands, it is increasingly important that we continue educating landowners and promoting bird-friendly forestry practices. 

Weighing about the same as two quarters, Golden-winged Warblers are a tiny, near threatened species that breed in western North Carolina, primarily in open, scrubby areas identified by the term early successional habitat, or young forest. This early successional habitat is declining rapidly because it requires active management to keep it from growing into a mature forest. 

“Private landowners in western North Carolina have a chance to offer a lifeline to this rare and declining songbird as their land contains key habitat for Golden-winged Warbler nests,” said Audubon North Carolina’s Interim Executive Director, Curtis Smalling. “Over the years, this partnership has expanded available habitat and we hope to continue that trend through our new partnership with EcoForesters.” 

As part of our on-the-ground landowner engagement, Audubon has worked to map North Carolinas important bird areas, Golden-winged Warbler focal areas, as well as priority forests to ensure that management actions are cost-effective and benefit both birds and people. We also contribute to a long-term project to study the migration movements of Golden-winged Warblers, coordinated by Audubon and many partners and led by Amber Roth at the University of Maine. 

EcoForesters will be leading a training session on June 15th, to educate willing landowners and managers on forest management practices that protect and restore important habitat for birds. Along with training opportunities, EcoForesters will work with Audubon North Carolina to create management plans that can be used by private landowners to support environmentally sound practices, especially those that benefit native birds.  

Landowners who have Golden-winged Warblers nearby in Mitchell and Yancey Counties may receive a letter in the coming weeks with information on the training and how they can participate in the program to create these specialized habitats. Learn more about Audubon's work to conserve the Golden-winged Warbler and more about EcoForesters. 

Media Contact: Brittany Salmons, and Willow McNeil,  

About EcoForesters 

EcoForesters is the largest forestry group in Western North Carolina, serving private landowners, land trusts, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and public lands. A non-profit whose mission is the restoration and conservation of Appalachian forests, EcoForesters seeks to share the science of forestry in a way that inspires action and creates healthy forests. Learn more at and on Facebook and Instagram. 

About Audubon North Carolina 

Audubon North Carolina, a state program of the National Audubon Society, has offices in Durham, Boone, Corolla, and Wilmington. Learn more at and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety. 

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