Texas Longleaf Implementation Team (TLIT)
Texas Longleaf Implementation Team Update
By Kent Evans, Team Coordinator
Members of the Texas LIT met with a representative of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe to offer technical assistance on their 400 acres of five-year-old longleaf in Polk County. The NRCS District Conservationist and Texas A&M Forest Service District Forester are working together on a management plan which proposes use of prescribed fire to control yaupon holly and allow access through the stands for collecting pine needles for their traditional basketry. Tribal lands are in proximity to longleaf restoration projects on the Big Thicket National Preserve and to longleaf by Resource Management Service. Wes Pruet, forester with RMS, discussed their recent experiences restoring longleaf with the use of herbicides and controlled burning.
International Paper recently committed to an additional five-year partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in eight states with a $10 million donation. The NFWF/IP partnership, known as Forestland Stewards, targets three landscapes: the low country of the Carolinas; the Cumberland Plateau in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia; and the piney woods on the Louisiana-Texas border. Texas NRCS recently added funds to the mix, targeting work in east Texas. The Texas LIT and Texas A&M Forest Service have been successful in winning some of those grant funds for restoring longleaf in east Texas. TLIT representatives (Hughes Simpson, Texas A&M Forest Service; Brian Gowin, Campbell Global; and Kent Evans, TLIT Coordinator) attended the Forestland Stewards meeting in October and reported on our progress in Texas. Also attending were Salvador Salinas, NRCS Texas State Conservationist, and Christy Oates, NRCS State Resource Conservationist. These NFWF grant funds in Texas help private landowners establish longleaf and conduct prescribed burning.
Wes Pruet (left) and Mike Hamilton have restored over 1,000 acres to longleaf on suitable lands managed by Resource Management Service in Polk County, Texas. Photo by Kent Evans.