Sandhills Longleaf Pine Conservation - Partnership Understory Restoration and “Learn and Burn”

June 09, 2015 Edited Gpy 0881 Image 2 Thumb

By Jimmy Lisenby, Sandhills Longleaf Pine Conservation Partnership

In the fall of 2014 the Sandhills Longleaf Pine Conservation Partnership (SLPCP) in South Carolina harvested close to 100 pounds of native ecotype longleaf understory seed using its new Prairie Habitats pull type harvester.  A large variety of species were collected including wiregrass, blue stem, split beard blue stem, blazing star and several asters. This spring, private landowners within the SLPCP focal area were given the opportunity to use the new Grasslander Seeder™ to plant this seed in their longleaf pine stands. The resulting understory will serve as fine fuels for landowners using prescribed fire as part of their forest management plan.  The Grasslander Seeder™ and Prairie Habitats harvester were purchased using National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant funds.

In March 2015, the SLPCP held its first “Learn and Burn” demonstration day as part of its “Longleaf and Lunch” education series.  Instructors at the event were from the SC Forestry Commission, SC Department of Natural Resources, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service and The Longleaf Alliance.  This was a hands-on demonstration day where landowners participated in the entire process of prescribed fire from ignition to mop-up. Participants were encouraged to use a drip torch to get firsthand experience during the burn.  Landowners learned about the benefits of burning, where to get assistance, and burning techniques.

Image 1:  Johnny Stowe and Don Cockman (SC DNR) along with Brian Davis SCFC instruct “Learn and Burn” participants.  Photo by Susan Griggs.

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