Summer 2020 Longleaf Partnership Council Meeting

September 23, 2020 Summer 2020 LPC Meeting Screenshot

As many others have been doing during these unprecedented times, the Longleaf Partnership Council (LPC) met virtually on June 25, 2020, to convene what would have been the Spring LPC meeting, originally scheduled to occur in Chattanooga, TN, in April.  The LPC convened via virtual meeting platform Zoom to discuss ongoing activities in support of longleaf pine restoration to reach the eight million-acre goal, attend to the business needs of the LPC, and address challenges moving forward during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Though this was the first time the LPC did not meet in person for its biannual meeting, and the longest period of time between meetings, the attendees were able to successfully engage with each other on several topics including the completion of the FY2019 Accomplishment Report, publication of the longleaf resiliency document “Blowing in the Wind: Advantages of Longleaf Pine in Wind Storms” and funding updates from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Using virtual breakout rooms, participants formed small groups to discuss the impacts and challenges of COVID-19 to member organizations and potential implications and opportunities for ALRI’s progress.  Some of the organizational, operational, outreach, and economic challenges include:

  • Lack of personal connection in private landowner outreach due to virtual events and technical difficulties;
  • Reduced funding/staff capacity in member agencies;
  • Down markets for wood products compared to 2019; and
  • Potential shortage of H-2B workers planting, burning, and managing properties.

The LPC also discussed inclusivity, diversity, and racism in the forestry realm and acknowledged the need for equal opportunity in private landowner outreach as well as access for all to longleaf on public lands.  The LPC Leadership Team is also looking into how best to use their platform to create positive change and tell the stories of those doing great work.

The LPC plans to meet virtually through the remainder of 2020, with the next meeting to be held on October 1, 2020.

Photo caption:

A screenshot of LPC members enjoying their first virtual gathering in June 2020.  Not pictured: the entire LPC and attending partners.

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