On April 22, 2019—in celebration of Earth Day—Komatsu America Corporation announced its support of—and partnership with—Green Forests Work (GFW).
GFW is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring more than a million acres of formerly mined lands in the Appalachian region of the eastern United States, and to spreading proper reclamation efforts worldwide.
Since 2009, GFW has planted nearly 2.5 million trees across approximately 4000 acres in Appalachia, but there are nearly one million acres devastated by poorly-regulated mining and lumbering operations that are left to reforest.
Working together, GFW and Komatsu aim to restore approximately 1000 acres of forest in West Virginia‘s Monongahela National Forest over the next three years.
“Komatsu’s wholehearted support of the Green Forests Work mission will make a noteworthy difference in our ability to not only do this work domestically in the U.S., but to spread proper reclamation efforts on a global scale,” said Dr. Christopher Barton, president and founder of Green Forests Work.
“Our partnership and work together in the Monongahela Forest will accelerate the work to properly reclaim these formerly mined lands and create multi-use, sustainable forests to help revitalize local economies in transition from the former coal-based economy of the region,” he added.
Komatsu’s 2019 contribution to the project provided the maximum investment required to allow GFW to obtain available matching funds from the USDA Forest Service. This alignment among corporate, non-profit and government entities aims to help establish healthy, productive forests on formerly mined land on the Mower Tract of the Monongahela National Forest and to improve water quality in the Lambert Run watershed.
“At Komatsu, we are committed to our role as an engine of progress; empowering our employees, customers and communities by working together to create sustainable solutions,” said Rod Schrader, Chairman and CEO of Komatsu America Corp.
For nearly a century, Komatsu equipment and services have been used worldwide to develop and redevelop infrastructure, mine land, and both destroy and restore forests (usually replacing biodiversity-rich old forests with near-sterile tree farms, but it’s not their fault how their tools are used).
Built upon decades of scientific research and field implementation, Green Forests Work guides successful reforestation efforts that create economic opportunities and enhance local and global environments.
The non-profit organization was founded in 2009 in collaboration with the Science Team of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative to restore formerly mined lands and provide opportunities throughout the Appalachian region of the eastern United States through the creation of green jobs, environmental enhancement and climate change mitigation.
Featured photo (courtesy of Komatsu) shows a Komatsu hydraulic excavator at work on an Appalachian site being prepared for restoration by Green Forests Work.