NRCS and Partners in Florida Work Together for Longleaf Pine RestorationGalloway
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partnered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) and the Florida Forest Service to provide assistance with conservation planning, land management, and restoration efforts through the Longleaf Pine Initiative in FY 2011. An example of one property that took advantage of the initiative was on a 3,200 acre ranch in Gilchrist County, Florida in which several hundred acres are enrolled under the Longleaf Pine Initiative. The Canaan Ranch was originally purchased by Nolan Galloway’s great grandfather in 1944 and operated as a cattle farm, but sandy soils provided insufficient browse. Giving up on cattle, the landowner began to plant pine trees. With about 2,000 acres of naturally regenerated longleaf pine and another 1,200 acres in a mixture of planted slash pine, longleaf, and oak hammocks, the family has harvested trees when needed and replanted when financially feasible.
The landowner’s long-term goal is to preserve much of the naturally regenerated longleaf pine and wiregrass habitat, while bringing the sparsely populated longleaf areas into better production by planting. Prescribed fire has been, and will continue to be, an important management tool, and exotic species are being controlled. Challenges have all been financial but with the help of financial assistance from NRCS, FFWCC, and the Florida Forest Service, several management goals have been realized. The landowner is working toward a perpetual annual harvest and regeneration cycle that will allow the ranch to be self-sustaining.
“Managing this property is a life-long passion for me,” Galloway stated. “I do not get paid for my efforts at the ranch but I take great pride in the property and consider my work there to be my legacy.”