Goals

Today, it is estimated that there are 3.4 million acres in longleaf forest types. Private landowners own about 55 percent (1.9 million acres) of the current longleaf acreage. National Forests, Department of Defense installations, and a handful of state forests, National Wildlife Refuges, and parks manage roughly 45 percent (1.5 million acres) of the current acreage.

With a few exceptions, much of these longleaf forests are widely fragmented, existing as islands within a matrix of modified lands. The 15-year goal for this Conservation Plan is an increase in longleaf from 3.4 to 8.0 million acres, with half of this acreage targeted in the 16 range-wide "Significant Landscapes" (identified in Appendix B of the Plan) in ways to support a majority of ecological and species' needs. The remainder will be either in Significant Sites or distributed across the range. The goal is a first approximation using best professional judgment and will be refined as more focused and rigorous inventories and analysis are completed and as local goals are defined. This is expected to occur both range-wide and within Significant Geographic Areas during implementation of the Conservation Plan. Achieving this ambitious 15-year goal would increase longleaf forest acreage to about nine percent of its historic acreage and require three-fold increases in restoration from current levels.