History & Vision

History

In 2005, a group of leaders convened by the Longleaf Alliance articulated the need for a focused, range-wide restoration approach, which they named America's Longleaf-A Restoration Initiative for the Southern Longleaf Pine Forest. At the same time, a partnership of several states and federal agencies in the Southeast formed to promote better collaboration in making resource-use decisions. Known as the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS), the group identified "Sustaining the Land of the Longleaf Pine" as one of its top conservation priorities. This convergence of interests generated tremendous enthusiasm and momentum.

To harness this interest in longleaf restoration, under the leadership of the USDA Forest Service, Department of Defense, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a Regional Working Group of diverse organizations was formed in October 2007 to develop America's Longleaf. A Steering Committee of the Regional Working Group was tasked with developing this Conservation Plan and launching the America's Longleaf Initiative as an umbrella for the collaborative efforts by many stakeholders to ensure the Conservation Plan's implementation. The Initiative is also a vehicle for raising the profile of longleaf as a conservation concern, regionally and nationally, and for generating broad public support.

Vision

The vision of the America's Longleaf Initiative is to have functional, viable, longleaf pine ecosystems with the full spectrum of ecological, economic, and social values inspired through a voluntary partnership of concerned, motivated organizations and individuals. Meeting this challenge will require the strategic coordination of conservation actions among many partners and sectors that influence land use, with the goal of ensuring long-term sustainability and resiliency of these systems, and their constituent biodiversity.