Texas Longleaf Implementation Team (TLIT) Update
By Kent Evans, Coordinator
Resource Management Service, LLC (RMS) and the Texas Longleaf Team hosted a field trip east of Livingston June 22 to highlight restoration of longleaf pine habitat in northern Polk County. Forty-five landowners and consulting foresters, and 20 agency staff attended. Logistics were provided by Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Lunch was provided by Capital Farm Credit.
RMS District Forester, Wes Pruet, led the discussions explaining their use of herbicides and burning to control yaupon. Some of their treatments had been implemented prior to the final harvest of a loblolly plantation. Attendees also saw a stand of first-year longleaf seedlings and stands where release treatments had been conducted using herbicides. Ecologists (Ike McWhorter, USFS; Wendy Ledbetter, The Nature Conservancy; and Ad Platt, The Longleaf Alliance) were onsite to interpret how the historic vegetative community was responding to the various treatments, including how these plants functioned in the fire regimen used for controlling yaupon. The group also visited lands owned by the Alabama-Coushatta tribe. Tribe member Elliott Abbey described their use of longleaf needles to construct traditional baskets. The tribe has over 400 acres of new longleaf, thanks to assistance by the NRCS and TFS.
The TLIT launched its website in August. Stephanie Hertz, Texas A&M University Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, led a working group from the TLIT and interested landowners in this effort. In addition to finding technical information, site visitors are able to watch video clips from interviews collected by the NRCS video team.
Image 1: Wes Pruet, RMS, leading a discussion on prescribed burning in one-year-old longleaf stand to control woody competition. Photo by Kent Evans.