The public and private partners involved in the America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI) accomplished an impressive 1.38 million acres of longleaf restoration work in 2013 according to a report recently released by the Longleaf Partnership Council. The 2013 Range-wide Accomplishment Report provides the first comprehensive look at the annual work that is occurring to bring back longleaf pine to the southern landscape.
“The dedicated work of publicand private partners that began in earnest in the 1980s and that continues today has for the first time resulted in halting the century’s long decline in longleaf pine”, says Vernon Compton, Longleaf Alliance and 2013 Chair of the Longleaf Partnership Council. Over the past decade (2000-2010) trends in longleaf pine acreage increased by about 8 percent. “Maintaining this momentum requires a tremendous effort from all the involved partners in order to annually sustain the extraordinary levels of on-the-ground work needed to achieve our overall range-wide restoration goals” says Compton.
In 2013, a remarkable 1.1 million acres of prescribed burning in longleaf pine ecosystems was reported across all ownerships, with an additional 75,000 acres of mechanical and chemical treatments to improve habitat conditions in longleaf forests. The report estimates that 156,000 acres of longleaf pine were established in 2013, with 86% of these future forests established on private lands.
The collaborative partnership continued to grow in 2013 as the number of local implementation teams increased to 15 and now cover all the identified significant geographic areas (SGAs) across the range. Approximately 70% of the overall accomplishments occurred within the SGAs, which complements the goals for these priority landscapes as envisioned in the Range-wide Conservation Plan.
All the findings and recommendations of the full report can be found here.
Photo Credit: 2013 Piney Woods Project – Mississippi Forestry Association