The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Texas Forest Service (TFS) recently hosted a longleaf pine ecology workshop at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.
There were 126 people present at the Longleaf Pine Ecology workshop. Presenters provided a comprehensive knowledge base to attendees gathered from studies and practical working experience with Longleaf Pine.
"This information will better assist landowners, consultants and other working professionals, both federal and state government agencies, with a better understanding to make longleaf pine restoration a success," said Jeanna Childers, NRCS Texas state forester and event coordinator.
Speakers from NRCS, TFS, USDA Forest Service National Forests & Grasslands in Texas and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) covered topics such as longleaf pine ecosystems including wildlife, ecology, root system and seedling establishment, along with the use of herbicides and fire on young longleaf pine plantations.
"Longleaf pine restoration is a national priority for the southeastern states and this species has unique growing characteristics, care of planting, and seedling management and growth than other pines. Our goal is to increase the awareness of the Longleaf Pine Initiative, which provides federal funding for longleaf pine plantings and other conservation practices through NRCS programs," Childers said. "Our goal with this workshop was to encourage successful plantings of this declining species and its habitat in the Southeast. I am pleased with the large turnout and the enthusiasm in this state and adjoining states."
NRCS administers the USDA's Longleaf Pine Initiative which incorporates technical and financial assistance to help landowners in Texas and eight other states improve longleaf pine habitat on agricultural lands, nonindustrial private forests and Tribal lands. Texas has been provided with $576,500 toward this initiative.
The targeted counties for longleaf restoration in Texas are Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Hardin, Houston, Jasper, Liberty, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler and Walker. Suitable land outside these counties also will be considered for longleaf pine production.
Jeanna Childers, NRCS Texas state forester and event coordinator, welcomes the more than 120 people who attended the recent longleaf pine ecology workshop.
Ricky Maxey, diversity biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, speaks during the longleaf pine workshop.
Terry Clason, USDA-NRCS Louisiana state forester, educates workshop attendees about longleaf pine ecosystem restoration which includes regeneration, stand maintenance or overstory conversion.
Cliff Shackelford, ornithologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, presents endemic and migratory birds in relation to longleaf pine forests.
George Weick, forest silviculturist with the USDA Forest Service, National Forests & Grasslands in Texas, speaks to attendees about longleaf pine silviculture and restoration efforts.