Longleaf Partnership Council Convenes in Mobile
The biannual meeting of the Longleaf Partnership Council was conducted in Mobile on April 25-26. The Council offers a forum for communication and coordination about longleaf restoration efforts and provides leadership and strategic direction to the America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative. It is comprised of 33 members from state and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, industry, academia and research as well as from state and local implementation teams leading on the ground efforts. As might be expected, when such an eclectic group of "longleafers” gather, the discussions are always lively and productive. Attendees also had the opportunity to attend the NFWF-Southern Company Partners meeting held at the same location a bit earlier in the week.
The Council meeting focused on range-wide topics (e.g., how the RESTORE Act prompted by the Gulf oil spill might offer longleaf opportunities) as well as technical team reports (e.g., recommendations on longleaf seedling stocking density) and, last but certainly not least, updates from partners around the region.
Council members also joined Southern Company, NFWF, and other partners on a field trip to the Nature Conservancy's Splinter Hill Bog Preserve in the headwaters of the Perdido River. A visit to this pitcher plant bog, a most unique and diverse natural community “ showcases the important connection between prescribed fire and maintaining an extremely diverse and healthy groundcover in the longleaf ecosystem,” says Council Chair Vernon Compton.