Virginia Field Office
Northeast Region
Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Goals

Restore the habitats of federal trust species on private lands, including tribal, county and municipal lands

Restore wetlands, riparian, in-stream and native upland habitats

Remove barriers to fish passage

Leverage funds and resources through efficient state, federal and private partnerships

Longleaf Pine Restoration Connect with Us

Less than 3 percent of the original longleaf forests remain in the southeastern United States. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program is participating in a long-term federal, state, and non-profit effort to restore longleaf pine savannah and its dependent species to a portion of what was once 1 million acres of longleaf pine in Virginia (detailed range map - PDF) . The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are currently restoring longleaf pine habitat potentially suitable for red-cockaded woodpecker (federally listed as endangered). Over 8,000 acres of longleaf pine habitat have already been restored and planning for additional restoration is ongoing.

Longleaf pine restoration in Sussex and Southampton Counties, Virginia is accomplished by conducting site preparation (clearing, spraying, and/or burning as appropriate), planting, prescribed burning, and monitoring.  Completed projects will result in the restoration of longleaf pine forest communities and habitat for red-cockaded woodpecker and many high priority migratory birds, including Bachman’s sparrow, prairie warbler, brown thrasher, brown-headed nuthatch, Eastern towhee, and Eastern wood peewee.

Our partners, The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Old Dominion University, Meadowview Biological Research Station, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Virginia Department of Forestry have been active in providing technical and financial support in the area west of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge where longleaf pine and the red-cockaded woodpecker currently reach their northern limits.

Restoration of agricultural fields to longleaf pine forests and long-term protection of restored upland areas draining to the Nottoway River will reduce sedimentation and increase water quality. This is particularly important to the federally listed endangered Roanoke logperch (PDF - 1.2MB), which needs unsilted substrate for more successful reproduction and foraging. Dwarf wedgemussel, federally listed endangered, and yellow lance, federally listed threatened, will also benefit from a reduction in silt, nutrients and herbicides from agricultural fields and managed loblolly pine plantations, providing higher quality habitat for reproduction and filter feeding. Similar to Roanoke logperch, the Roanoke bass will benefit from improvements in water quality and foraging habitat. 

The vision of America's Longleaf Pine Initiative is "to have functional, viable, longleaf pine ecosystems with the full spectrum of ecological, economic, and social values inspired through a voluntary partnership of concerned, motivated organizations and individuals. Meeting this challenge will require the strategic coordination of conservation actions among many partners and sectors that influence land use, with the goal of ensuring long-term sustainability and resiliency of these systems, and their constituent biodiversity." In 2009, the initiative released their Range-Wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine. The Virginia longleaf pine restoration partnership is part of America's Longleaf Initiative.

The Longleaf Cooperators of Virginia (LCOV), formerly Virginia Longleaf Pine Cooperators, is comprised of Federal (Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), state (Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation-Natural Heritage Program), university (Old Dominion University), non-profit (The Nature Conservancy, Meadowview Biological Research Station), and private landowners.

LCOV partners work cooperatively to: prepare sites for planting; plant longleaf seedlings; conduct prescribed burns to maintain habitat; harvest native Virginia longleaf pine seed, grow, and pursue funding for future longleaf planting efforts.

LCOV is dedicated to restoring the ecological, economic, cultural, historical and recreational values of the native longleaf pine forests of southeastern Virginia; and providing technical expertise to help landowners achieve longleaf restoration success.

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Last updated: August 24, 2018