West-Central Louisiana Ecosystem Partnership (WLEP)
Longleaf Field Day at Kisatchie National Forest Attracts Landowners and Enthusiasts
Dan Weber, WLEP Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy
On October 19th, 2017, the Kisatchie District of the Kisatchie National Forest hosted a Longleaf Field Day for landowners, industry, and agency partners. Over a hundred participants spent the day enjoying presentations and a tour of several sites in the nearby forest featuring different aspects of longleaf management. The event was organized by the local longleaf implementation team (LIT), the West-Central Louisiana Ecosystem Partnership (WLEP), and was funded in part by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Longleaf Stewardship Fund. The 102,000-acre Kisatchie District is part of the Fort Polk/Kisatchie National Forest Significant Geographic Area where the LIT composed of the U.S. Department of Defense, state and federal wildlife agencies, conservation NGO’s, and others have united to restore longleaf pine and other native ecosystems within a six-parish conservation area. The District contains some of the finest longleaf in the state and is home to Kisatchie Hills Wilderness, the only nationally designated wilderness area in Louisiana. Attendees were treated to expert speakers on subjects ranging from the cultural history and significance of longleaf forests in Louisiana and cost-share opportunities to a landowner’s testimony on family land restoration. In the field, four tour stops showed off the amazing work Kisatchie has been doing with longleaf management and instructed the participants in managing lands for game and wildlife, regeneration techniques, timber values, and the biodiversity of longleaf stands. Once back at the pavilion, a barbeque lunch was shared while participants enjoyed the various partner displays on site.
Steve Shively (USFS) discusses the Louisiana pine snake during field tour on the Kisatchie National Forest. Photo by The Nature Conservancy.