Okefenokee and Osceola Local Implementation Team (02LIT)

Okefenokee and Osceola Local Implementation Team (02LIT)

By Alan Dozier, Coordinator

Continuance of the Okefenokee and Osceola longleaf pine restoration effort was confirmed in early July by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s award of a 2015 Longleaf Stewardship Fund grant. The two year grant, submitted by The Nature Conservancy, will fund the coordinator’s position, the Job Corps Burn Team, additional longleaf maintenance and establishment, forest fuel reductions on private lands, and a TNC mapping project to further identify priority restoration efforts. Our two year goal is to establish 3,100 acres of longleaf, prescribe burn 51,000 acres and perform mid story treatments on just over 700 acres. “We are very thankful for the support that makes our progress possible” says 02LIT Coordinator, Alan Dozier, “all the way from the federal partners at the coordinating committee level, to support given by NGO’s, the Southern Company and other private sector contributors, all the way down to the local landowners who support longleaf and wildlife on their own property.”

In other news, The Conservation Fund has been successful in receiving a grant from the Dobbs Foundation to allow the Georgia Forestry Commission to hire a Longleaf Forester to serve southeast Georgia. Over a two year period this forester is expected to provide forest management plans to landowners, conduct longleaf outreach and education, and train other natural resource professionals on the restoration of longleaf pine. Much of this project will be focused on making landowners aware of cost-share opportunities available through NRCS programs.

Image 1: Okefenokee Gator. Photo by Joe Sorenson.