2013 Range-wide Accomplishment Report and Executive Summary
Longleaf pine forests once covered 90 million acres from Virginia to Texas. For a variety of reasons longleaf forests declined to roughly 3 million acres by the late 1990s. Diverse public and private partners began working in earnest in the 1980s and are continuing today to restore longleaf pine forests back to the southern landscape. These efforts have halted the century long decline in longleaf pine and resulted in increasing trends over the past decade.
The Range-wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine was released in 2009 and established an ambitious goal to increase longleaf pine forests to 8 million acres and improve the conditions of existing longleaf pine forests. Since the release of the Conservation Plan, a strong partnership of agencies and organizations has coalesced around longleaf conservation in an effort referred to as the America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI). Achieving the restoration goals laid out in the Conservation Plan requires annually sustaining extraordinary levels of on-the-ground work. In 2011 the Longleaf Partnership Council (the Council) formed to provide the overall leadership for ALRI and provide a forum for communication among the partners.
The Council approved moving forward with this 2013 Range-wide Accomplishment Report to communicate the restoration work collectively accomplished by the partners involved in ALRI. This is the first range-wide comprehensive look at the annual restoration work that is occurring to bring back the iconic longleaf pine forest to the South. This report illustrates the scale of the on-the-ground work that is occurring, shows how public and private funds are being leveraged, and measures how the partnership’s strategic priorities are being accomplished in moving toward achieving the 8 million acre longleaf restoration goal identified in the Conservation Plan.