Restoration of longleaf pine in the southern United States: a status reportThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In 2009, the America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative set an aggressive goal of increasing the area of ecosystems dominated by longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) from 4.29 to 8 million acres by 2025. In 2015, a 5-year review of progress using Forest Inventory and Analysis data showed that gains in longleaf pine acreage were offset by losses and that total longleaf pine acreage remained unchanged since 2010. As a result, Federal, State, and private partners engaged in a review during the summer of 2016 to discuss how to modify or respond to this lack of progress; they agreed to retain the original 8-million-acre goal, and to develop a revised set of strategies to attain that goal. These include efforts to increase restoration and to better understand the causes for the decline of longleaf pine on both public and private lands. Most of these will require changes in agency policy, enhanced restoration through planting and prescribed burning, and developing additional financial and managerial resources for implementation. Key to these efforts will be diversification of longleaf pine silviculture, including novel approaches to managing stands that contain a minor but manageable component of longleaf pine.