Leading Longleaf Restoration

Beginning Winter 2018, ACT will take on leading a team of regional partners in supporting longleaf pine restoration in north Florida. With assistance from the Longleaf Stewardship Fund, ACT will be working with personnel from multiple state and federal agencies and the Wildland Restoration International regional fire team to achieve more longleaf habitat restoration on private and public lands.

Biodiversity in longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida depend on fire. The Longleaf Stewardship Fund supports a collaborative effort of multiple public and private sector partners that actively support range-wide efforts to restore and conserve these vital ecosystems across the southeastern United States. The vision is to save functional, viable longleaf pine ecosystems with the full spectrum of ecological, economic and social benefits that come with them. Across nine states in the southeast where longleaf pine habitat is found, there are 17 "Local Implementation Teams" who are spearheading the on-the-ground work to help private landowners and public land managers restore and enhance longleaf habitat.

The goals of the Ocala Local Implementation Team (OLIT) will be supporting longleaf habitat restoration efforts in the region through cost-share funding for longleaf seedling purchases for private landowners, one-on-one training for private landowners learning to implement prescribed burning on their land, and assistance with the development of the North Florida Prescribed Burn Association. The team will also be assisting with habitat restoration projects on the Ocala National Forest and Camp Blanding Joint Training Center which will directly benefit populations of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, and Northern Bobwhite Quail.

If you are a private forest landowner interested in longleaf restoration or managing with prescribed fire, contact ACT today.