What’s more, a mere 12,000 of those acres — an area half the size of Montana’s largest city, Billings — are populated by old-growth longleaf pine. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed 29 species that are associated with longleaf pine forests as threatened or endangered. American Forests has long recognized the importance of restoring longleaf pine and the red-cockaded woodpecker. Even worse, the remaining longleaf pine is in largely fragmented stands and much is in poor condition. The Longleaf Pine Initiative is part of NRCS’ “all lands” approach, assisting forest landowners in effectively conserving standing longleaf pine while restoring and enhancing longleaf forests for ecosystem benefits. They are more drought resistant than other pine species, more resistant to hurricanes and many insect pests, and provide better quality timber and habitat for bobwhite quail and wild turkey.If you are interested in finding out more about efforts to increase the acreage of longleaf pines check out the Longleaf Alliance website at www.longleafalliance.org. Longleaf pine was harvested significantly throughout the 19th century, and historical longleaf forests were converted into urban communities, agricultural lands or industrial pine plantations. Jami Westerhold, Esq., writes from Washington, D.C., and is American Forests’ director of forest restoration. This ecosystem had been in place for thousands of years, no doubt aided by the frequent forest fires set by Native Americans because longleaf pine is a fire-adapted species; in fact it is the keystone species in a fire-adapted environment. A healthy longleaf pine forest is a lively place. Credit: Bobistraveling/Flickr. More resources are needed, but NRCS has identified, Red-cockaded woodpecker. The Forest-Climate Working Group pushes forests to the forefront of the fight to combat climate change. Accelerating Longleaf Pine Restoration CFLR Project, which is committed to improving longleaf forest health across 567,800 acres in Osceola National Forest by 2020. The superb and moderately rot-resistant lumber was used for a variety products, and the high resin content of the trees was tapped to produce a number of “naval stores” such as pitch, tar, and turpentine. Its native range once stretched from southern Virginia to east Texas, covering almost 90 million acres. [Image Description] A long-leaf pine forest. Restored longleaf pine habitat has helped the survival of threatened and endangered species like red-cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, pine snakes, and dusky gopher frogs. The signing of the Great American Outdoors Act and the introduction of The REPLANT Act provide major legislative successes for national forests. Longleaf pines have the longest needles of all southern pines. The disappearance of longleaf forests is primarily the result of lumber production and land-use changes. A variety of grants are available to promote the planting of longleaf pines, and much information is available to landowners on the proper management to insure their survival. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region. 1220 L Street, NW, Suite 750Washington, DC 20005, © 2020 American Forests. Longleaf pines once covered over ninety million acres across the southeastern United States, reaching from Virginia to eastern Texas. Most of this increase is happening among large private landowners who are planting the trees for a variety of reasons, one of which is a strong conservation ethic. Longleaf pine ecosystems provide extreme conditions such as sandy sites for gopher’s habitation. Urban forestry garners growing support on Capitol Hill. This year, we are supporting the planting of an additional 420,000-plus longleaf pine in Osceola National Forest. The destruction of the forest, and more importantly the destruction of the ecosystem, has resulted in twenty nine plants and animals ending up on the federally-listed threatened or endangered species list.Fortunately today there are a number of government and non-profit organizations working to bring back the longleaf pine. But there are also good economic reasons to consider planting longleaf pine. Needles range from seven to 18 inches in length. The trees and the fires both supported a whole host of plants and animals that were adapted to regular, small intensity fires and could grow in the filtered shade of the longleaf. NRCS and its Department of Agriculture interagency working group set a goal to protect, restore or enhance an additional 4.6 million acres of longleaf pine by 2025. South Carolina Wildlife Federation, 455 St. Andrews Road, Suite B1, Columbia, SC 29210, United States, Read our Landowner Guide to Longleaf Pine. As a member of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Steering Committee, American Forests has taken a lead role in advocating for Florida’s, Young longleaf pine.