U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Partners for Fish and Wildlife

Southeast Region

Southeastern Longleaf Pine Restoration Initiative (multi-Partners; SE)


The Service is an active participant in a multi-partner (over 40 federal and state agencies and non-government entities) longleaf pine initiative that was officially established in 2008.   The official title of this initiative is:  America’s Longleaf:  A Restoration Initiative for the Southern Longleaf Pine Ecosystem.

The entire group of partners met at Auburn University the week of March 14th, 2008, to begin to further define goals and objectives for the initiative, and to scope out a road map for the future that all partners can support.

The longleaf pine ecosystem is one of the most ecologically diverse systems in the world, rivaling even tropical rainforests.  Longleaf forests are home to some of the most rare and unique plants and animals on the continent:

           
  • Nearly 900 plant species are found in longleaf forests, and no where else in the world


  • 170 of 290 reptiles and amphibians occurring in the Southeast U. S. are found in longleaf pine ecosystems


  • 26 federally listed endangered or threatened species are part of the longleaf ecosystem, including the red-cockaded woodpecker, gopher tortoise and flatwoods salamander.

 

Today, less than three percent of the original longleaf forests remain, resulting in a designation of this ecosystem as “critically endangered.”

Natural range of Longleaf pines.

The primary goals of this collaborative partnership are to:

      Manage and maintain what is left,

      Recover what is in poor condition, and

      Restore longleaf to suitable areas where it has been lost.

 

Initial objectives identified by the partnership that will be addressed over the next few years include:

  • Development of a range-wide conservation plan that identifies and explains priority geographic focus areas and outcome-based objectives,


  • Work together to increase resources for longleaf pine conservation and restoration,


  • Establish a pool of technical assistance resources that will provide timely and accurate knowledge and expertise on longleaf pine conservation and restoration to any project, and


  • Develop a strong partnership organization for this initiative.

Activities and progress under this major partnership initiative will be the major theme of the upcoming Longleaf Alliance Regional Conference to be held on October 28-31, 2008, Sandestin, Florida.  Additional information about the Longleaf Alliance and this Regional Conference can be obtained at:  http://www.longleafalliance.org