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The goal of THE AMERICAN CHESTNUT FOUNDATION is to restore the American chestnut tree to its native range within the woodlands of the eastern United States, using a scientific research and breeding program developed by its founders. The American Chestnut Foundation is restoring a species - and in the process, creating a template for restoration of other tree and plant species.
The American Chestnut Foundation was founded in 1983 by a group of prominent plant scientists who recognized the severe impact the demise of the American chestnut tree imposed upon the local economy of rural communities, and upon the ecology of forests within the tree’s native range. The American chestnut tree reigned over 200 million acres of eastern woodlands from Maine to Florida, and from the Piedmont west to the Ohio Valley, until succumbing to a lethal fungus infestation, known as the chestnut blight, during the first half of the 20th century. An estimated 4 billion American chestnuts, 1/4 of the hardwood tree population, grew within this range.