With a total grant of $100,000, TACF will plant new trees, pollinate some of the few surviving American chestnuts and breed American and blight-resistant Chinese chestnuts to produce a hybrid tree. This tree is expected to have all of the physical characteristics of the American chestnut while retaining the blight resistance of the Chinese tree.
"The NFF has been a tremendous supporter of ours for many years, and we have been able to build a strong chestnut restoration program with its help. With this grant, we will expand our program and put more trees in the ground. We're very grateful to NFF for its continued support in our effort to make faster progress in our breeding work. As TACF approaches its 25th anniversary next year, our hope is that this success story will provide inspiration for others working to rectify the many problems that are reducing the productivity and diversity of our forests," said Marshal Case, President and CEO of TACF.
The year-long project will include American chestnut restoration work in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia. Funds will also be used to enable TACF to reach out to communities in the project area with talks and seminars on the American chestnut.
The American Chestnut Foundation is a nonprofit 501-c-3 organization with more than 5,500 members nationwide and chapters in 17 states including a provisional chapter in Vermont/New Hampshire. It is headquartered in Bennington and has research facilities in Meadowview, Va., and a regional office in Asheville, N.C. To learn more about TACF, please visit www.acf.org.