Long live the longleaf


TJ Savereno: Longleaf pine historically was the dominant ecosystem in the Southeast. It covered nine states from Southeastern Virginia all the way down in an arc around to Eastern Texas. It covered about ninety million acres. Today it is down to about three point seven million acres, and a lot of that habitat is fragmented. It is one of the most ecologically diverse habitats in the world. It is home to many different plant species and a number of endangered species as well. Longleaf pine provides a good economic investment because of the value of the products that can be obtained from it. It tends to be a longer-lived, tight-grained species that produces a very high-quality wood. It also produces a higher percentage of what are called poles, which are the types of timber that are harvested for creation of power poles. Timber production is one of the top industries in South Carolina and it employs quite a few people and it is especially important to the rural economy in South Carolina. What we are trying to do here is to create an environment where we can do research on longleaf pine restoration under a variety of starting points and, also be able to bring landowners in and show them how you can go about doing that, how to do it successfully.