Longleaf Pine is Trying
to Make a Comeback
(bolded words in text indicate key words
Today, more people are interested in helping to bring longleaf
pine forests back to the South. Landowners are planting longleaf
pine seedlings on their land. However, many people still do not
know the importance of longleaf pine forests and all the critters
that live in it. We need you to help spread the word.
Bringing back the longleaf pine forest will take a partnership
of many public and private individuals and organizations. The road
to recovery for the longleaf pine forest continues to be long and
difficult. For decades, the forestry community has not favored longleaf
pine forests. For this reason, the forest has slowly (almost imperceptibly)
disappeared from the landscape. Presently, a region-wide effort
is underway to restore longleaf
pine to a portion of its former range. Many groups are involved
in this effort. One of the leaders is The
Longleaf Alliance, based at Auburn University's Solon
Dixon Forestry Education Center in Alabama. The Alliance coordinates
the efforts of others and acts as a clearinghouse
for information to landowners, researchers, educators, natural resource
professionals, state and federal agencies, and conservation groups.
Since private landowners own the majority of the land in the southeast,
they must be included for the restoration of the longleaf pine forest
to be effective. Many private landowners have begun to appreciate
both the economic and ecologic importance that longleaf pine forests
can play in their own and their children's future. Also, more people
are being to wonder "what happened to the longleaf pine forests
I remember from my childhood?" Many of the areas currently
being planted with longleaf pine are old agricultural
fields and pastures (areas that
were longleaf pine forests over 100 years ago). A major advance
to enable this resurgence of interest has been improved tree seedlings
and planting techniques of longleaf pine trees as well as government
(monetary) incentive programs. Many private landowners are much
more likely to consider longleaf as a choice for their lands than
even five years ago.
In order, to help recover the populations of endangered
species like the red-cockaded woodpecker,
public land managers like the U.S. Forest
Service are beginning to emphasize the restoration of
longleaf pine forests on National Forests
and other public lands.
You can help get the word out by teaching your students about the
need to restore the once grand longleaf pine forests.
Key Words and Concepts (click
on for glossary definition): agricultural, clearinghouse, endangered,
National Forest, partnership, pasture,
public land, red-cockaded woodpecker, restore, The Longleaf Alliance.