Longleaf Pine Initiative Available for Landowners
Longleaf pine forests once covered millions of acres throughout the southeastern United States. Today, only a few thousand acres of this vital habitat remain.
To help sustain, enhance and restore longleaf pine forests, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the availability of more than $12 million to help private landowners in nine states restore and manage longleaf pines.
"The longleaf pine is one of our key native species, providing a home to hundreds of plant and animal species as well as being a tremendous economic resource," NRCS Chief Dave White said. "Restoring and expanding this species is only made possible through voluntary partnerships with conservation-minded land owners who share our goal of healthy forests."
Longleaf pine habitat can contain as many as 300 different species of ground-cover plants per acre, and 60 percent of the amphibian and reptile species found in the Southeast.
Additionally, this forested habitat is home to at least 122 endangered or threatened plant and animal species including the fox squirrel, northern bobwhite, red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise.
"We've taken great steps toward conserving longleaf pine forests in North Carolina," said NRCS State Conservationist J.B. Martin Jr.
Additional information on the Longleaf Pine Initiative, NRCS and its programs is available on its website at www.nc.nrcs.usda.gov.
More like this story