Longleaf pine forms one cover type within a much larger mosaic of refuge forest communities. Within this mosaic, other forests include; hardwoods along streams, ravines and north facing slopes; shortleaf and Virginia pine on uplands and ridge tops; and shrub bogs within spring seepages along the mountain front. This forest mosaic creates a rich diversity of both Appalachian and Coastal Plain species. Rare plants, such as white fringeless orchid, can be found in bogs, while species, such as turkey oak and ground juniper, reach their northern and southern range extensions. In addition to the variety of plant species, the refuge also provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
Deer and turkey are particularly abundant, and provide recreational hunting opportunities on the refuge. Other game species include bobwhite, mourning dove, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, squirrels, fox, bobcat, and coyote. The refuge’s forested connection to the Appalachian Mountains, has allowed species such as black bear to occasionally be sited.
Large tracts of relatively unfragmented forest provide habitat for neotropical migratory birds. Many of these species have recently experienced population declines from loss of habitat. Refuge forests in particular are important to species that require large forested tracts for nesting. Some of the more sensitive forest birds that nest on the refuge include yellow-billed cuckoo, red-eyed vireo, black-and-white warbler, worm-eating warbler, ovenbird, Kentucky warbler, and scarlet tanager