The Southern Low Country and ACE Basin Longleaf Partnership Update

By Bobby Franklin, The Longleaf Alliance

Summer has been hot and muggy in the Carolina Lowcountry and The Southern Low Country and ACE Basin  (SoLoACE) Longleaf Partnership Region. The weather makes it rough doing field work, but our Partnership has been active in recruiting landowners for cost share, outreach, and planning for the upcoming Longleaf Regional Conference in Savannah.

A highlight of the late spring was the prescribed burning field day held June 2 at the Webb Wildlife Center in Hampton County. Forty-five landowners and managers who own or manage a total of 53,690 acres of land in the region attended the event. In addition, six South Carolina NRCS staff attended to learn more about prescribed fire. The event would not have been a success without the hard work and support of the Clemson Extension Service, Jeff Brown of Forest Resource Professionals, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Forestry Commission, South Carolina Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the South Carolina Tree Farm Program.

In other exciting news, two of the eight RCW inserts that the SoLoACE Longleaf Partnership helped install last fall at the Aiken Gopher Tortoise Preserve now have occupants. A pair of red-cockaded woodpeckers have shown up and are using the cavities. They most likely dispersed 10-12 miles from an RCW cluster at the Savannah River Site, the closest known cluster.

We are also excited to announce the award of another National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant that will continue the work on the ground to plant and manage longleaf pine ecosystems in the ten county SoLoACE Region! We are grateful for the continued faith and support of our efforts!

SoLoACE Longleaf Partnership would not exist without the cooperation & teamwork from the following partners: The Longleaf Alliance, Beaufort Open Land Trust, Clemson University, Ducks Unlimited, The Hitchcock Woods, International Paper Company, Lowcountry Open Land Trust, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Nature Conservancy, Nemours Wildlife Foundation, South Carolina Audubon Society, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Forestry Commission, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Savannah River Forest Station.