West-Central Louisiana Ecosystem Partnership - National Wild Turkey Federation Awarded Grant to Restore Longleaf Pine in West Central Louisiana

Image 1 Field Day Thumb

By Rick Jacob, The Nature Conservancy

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) was awarded a $350,000 grant from the NFWF LSF to advance longleaf restoration in the Fort Polk/Kisatchie National Forest SGA.  Additional non-federal matching funds of over $350,000 from NWTF and other partners will also be applied to the project.  The project is a part of the Forestland Stewards Initiative formed by International Paper and NFWF to identify, restore, and protect landscapes in three priority regions in the southern United States, one of which is The Piney Woods of Texas and Louisiana.

NWTF will work with The West-Central Louisiana Ecosystem Partnership to restore at least 1,000 acres of longleaf pine and enhance 2,100 additional acres of longleaf to expand protected wildlife corridors that link public and private lands within the Fort Polk/Kisatchie National Forest SGA. NWTF and partners will provide management plans and cost-share incentives for private landowners to restore longleaf and maintain and improve understory.  The project also will coordinate site visits by forestry and wildlife professionals to support and encourage longleaf restoration and management efforts and provide verified, updated reporting.  Efforts will support the mission of Fort Polk by broadening the ecological base of the longleaf pine ecosystem surrounding the installation.

Project partners include The Nature Conservancy, Hancock Timber Company, Resource Management Service, The Campbell Group, Weyerhaeuser, LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, LA Department of Agriculture and Forestry, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort Polk, and Practicing Foresters Institute.

Image 1:  Longleaf field day in Dry Creek, Louisiana, 2014.  Photo by The Nature Conservancy.

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