Fall 2018 Longleaf Partnership Council Meeting
The Longleaf Partnership Council (LPC) members and friends of America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI) recently gathered in Alexandria, Louisiana, from October 22-23, 2018, to discuss progress being made, challenges faced, and future endeavors being planned in longleaf restoration. Occurring this year in conjunction with the 12th Biennial Longleaf Conference, hosted by The Longleaf Alliance, those attending the LPC meeting were able to make it an entire week of fun and productive experiences with like-minded longleaf enthusiasts! The meeting and conference both featured strong attendance, with many benefiting from the week of longleaf education and discussions.
On the agenda at this Fall’s meeting, LPC members were brought up to speed about ongoing projects and informed about new initiatives taking place. Multiple agencies gave informative presentations about the following new and current projects:
- LPC Vice-Chair Gary Burger of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) on a mapping and metrics effort to assess longleaf pine extent and condition across the range;
- American Forest Foundation on how they are using social marketing to reach and engage landowners;
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on the development of a Business Plan for the Longleaf Stewardship Fund and anticipated criteria/metrics for the upcoming 2019 Request for Proposals;
- Virginia Longleaf Pine Cooperators Group on how they are restoring longleaf in the northern portion of the range;
- Forest Landowners Association on ways to develop markets to incentivize landowners to plant longleaf pine;
- An overview from Enviva Biomass of their organization and goals for sustainability, including their 3-year plan to source biomass material while at the same time supporting longleaf pine savanna ecosystem restoration (especially on private lands);
- Department of Defense on a new collaboration with the Department of the Interior on the “Recovery and Sustainment Partnership”;
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on how the National Refuge System is looking for opportunities to restore longleaf pine; and
- Resource Management Services on how timber investment management organizations can contribute to longleaf restoration at a large scale.
A large gathering of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) professionals (both regional staff and National Forest System supervisors) were on hand to explain the new USFS Million Acre Challenge, including presentations on individual forest longleaf strategies, success stories, and coordination with Local Implementation Teams. LPC members also reviewed and provided comments on the latest draft of the 2019-2021 Strategic Priorities and Actions document and elected a new Vice-Chair for 2019, Tiffany Woods of the National Wildlife Federation.
To kick off the week, LPC attendees were invited to an evening reception at the Southern Heritage Museum hosted by the museum, the Louisiana Forestry Association, USFS, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. After a successful meeting, many spent the rest of the week engaging with other longleafers at the Longleaf Biennial Conference. There was even an appearance by Burner Bob! In addition to informative sessions, the recipients of the Regional Longleaf Awards were honored and recognized with a luncheon for their achievements and contributions to longleaf restoration. A field tour was also organized to the Kisatchie National Forest and a private landowner's property, giving the visitors a chance to learn about what is being done on the range’s western end.
The next meeting of the Longleaf Partnership Council will be in the Spring of 2019.