The NWTF and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) have formed a partnership to invest more than $300,000 to restore vanishing longleaf pine on private land in the Savannah River Corridor in South Carolina and Georgia.
Longleaf pine is a southern ecosystem that is critical to wild turkey, deer, quail and other wildlife, including many endangered species. Unlike other species of pine, longleaf are adapted to poor soils and are more suitable than other pine species for a wide variety of landscapes such as mountains, rolling hills, sandhills and flatwoods. Healthy longleaf pine forests are an important part of maximizing populations of white-tailed deer and wild turkeys throughout the south.
“The NWTF is excited to expand on its successful history of partnerships with the NFWF and our overall longleaf restoration efforts in the southeast. Partnering with our friends at the South Carolina and Georgia Forestry Commissions to implement this particular project is an excellent way for the NWTF to support private landowners in our own backyard,” said NWTF Forester Gary Burger.
The longleaf pine ecosystem once covered more than 90 million acres across nine states. Today, only 3 percent of the original acreage remains. This effort is part of a larger collaborative effort to support accelerated restoration of longleaf pine. The NWTF project is part of an overall goal to maintain, improve and restore 8 million acres of longleaf pine within 15 years.
“This is just one project in a program that is providing close to $3 million in grant awards and technical support to restore the longleaf ecosystem,” said David O’Neill, director of the Eastern Partnership Office at NFWF. “This suite of actions will have a huge impact across the southeastern U.S.”
This press release was produced by the National Wild Turkey Federation.