NRCS Longleaf Pine Initiative: What You Need to Know

The land from East Texas to Southern Virginia was once an uninterrupted expanse of pine forest, home to diverse ecosystems made up of plants, animals, and endangered or threatened species. It is estimated there were over 90 million acres of native Longleaf pine forest in the Southeast when the country was settled.  Why was Longleaf the dominant species?  Because they are far more drought and fire resistant than loblolly, slash, and shortleaf pines.  Simply, naturally occurring fires and periods of drought always favored the Longleaf over the others.  Unfortunately, by the 1990s, the amount of Longleaf pine forest had been reduced to approximately three million acres. This reduction was the result of logging, development and fire suppression practices.

NRCS Longleaf Pine Initiative 

The intent of the NRCS Longleaf Pine Initiative is to restore as much Longleaf ecosystem as possible and to conserve what is left.  The NRCS began the initiative in 2010 and has worked closely with private landowners and other federal and state agencies to restore over 260,000 acres of longleaf pine forest since the program’s inception.  With the help of other related programs and landowner involvement, Longleaf-based ecosystems have increased to over four million acres spread across nine states. 

The Longleaf Pine Initiative focuses on three main factors: 

  1. Restoration - Restoring sites suited to longleaf pine forests. 
  2. Improvement - Improving current longleaf pine sites through prescribed burning and management. 
  3. Maintenance - By ensuring that pre-existing ecosystems are in good condition and can stay in good shape, and offering maintenance where needed, this part of the conservation project aims at reducing the rate of decline for pre-existing forests. 

The NRCS partners with landowners, providing financial assistance and advice on managing Longleaf stands.   

Prioritizing Sustainable Ecosystems 

The NRCS Longleaf Pine Initiative collaborates with private landowners and various partners to ensure that sustainable ecosystems are kept safe. Longleaf pine forests have a positive impact on the environment by providing a wealth of natural benefits, including clean air production, healthier soil, cleaner water, higher-value timber, and wildlife habitat. Additionally, the survival and maintenance of longleaf pine forests adds value to property and real estate

Tutt Land Company 

Working with a reputable land company can help you obtain and maintain healthy and productive pine plantations.  Contact us today to start a conversation.