Longleaf pine forests once encompassed more than 90 million acres across the Southeast, stretching from eastern Texas to southern Virginia. These forests represent some of the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems and are home to nearly 600 plant and animal species. But over the past couple of centuries, development, timbering and fire suppression reduced the ecosystem’s range.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is working with agricultural producers and conservation partners to restore longleaf forests through the Longleaf Pine Initiative (LLPI). Through the program, NRCS works with producers on private lands in nine states, including Alabama, Florida and Georgia, to improve the sustainability and profitability of longleaf pine forest ecosystems. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to producers, helping them implement a variety of conservation practices.
LLPI enables producers to make conservation improvements on their forestlands with NRCS providing technical and financial help. A healthier longleaf pine forest translates into more valuable timber and wildlife habitat and a more efficient operation through the use of forest management and prescribed burning systems.
Landowners are encouraged to learn about LLPI to see how this could be a benefit to your operation. Click here to find out more or contact your local USDA Service Center.