While longleaf pine forests once encompassed more than 90 million acres across the Southeast, the past couple of centuries has seen development, timbering and fire suppression reduce the ecosystem’s range. These forests represent some of the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems and are home to nearly 600 plant and animal species.
That is why USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) continues to work with agricultural producers and conservation partners to restore longleaf forests. This is being done through the Longleaf Pine Initiative (LLPI). The program allows NRCS to work with producers on private lands in nine states, including Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Landowners can improve the sustainability and profitability of longleaf pine forest ecosystems with NRCS providing technical and financial assistance.
A healthier longleaf pine forest does translate into more valuable timber and wildlife habitat and a more efficient operation through the use of forest management and prescribed burning systems.
So landowners are encouraged to learn about LLPI to see how this could be a benefit to your operation. Contact your local USDA Service Center to find out how.