Black Belt Forestry

After the Civil War, former African American slaves were deeded or bought property across the South, but in subsequent years often lacked the money for — or were denied access to – the legal resources needed to establish title to the land. As a result, much of this land was passed down through following generations…  More 

Forests of the South’s Coastal Plain

What will the Coastal Plain forests of the South look like in 50 years? With the myriad of factors involved—including climate change, population growth, economic outlooks, and more—it’s not a simple question. U.S. Forest Service researchers provide an overview of current and future issues for southern coastal forests in the general technical report Outlook for Coastal Plain Forests. The report is one of…  More 

Longleaf Pine Cone Prospects for 2016 and 2017

Dale Brockway, research ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), recently published his annual summary of projected longleaf pine cone production for 2016 and 2017. The report shows an overall failure of the crop for 2016, and a fair outlook for 2017. “Our estimates show the 2016 crop averaging only 3.4 cones…  More 

The Santee Experimental Forest

In 1934, the U.S. Forest Service allocated 6,100 acres (2,470 ha) of the Francis Marion National Forest (Francis Marion) near Charleston, South Carolina, for the Santee Experimental Forest (the Santee). By the 1930s, much of the site had been heavily used for centuries, the upland cleared to raise livestock and produce naval stores (tar, pitch, turpentine, and…  More 

Santee Experimental Forest Chosen for U.S.-China Climate Change and Forests Initiative

U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station scientists and the Santee Experimental Forest (Santee) located in the Francis Marion National Forest near Charleston, South Carolina, have been chosen to participate in the U.S,-China Climate Change and Forests Initiative, a new program  of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The U.S.-China…  More 

21st Century Fire Ecology in the South

U.S. Forest Service researchers are using an array of high technologies — high resolution infrared thermography, LiDAR, and photogrammetry — to reach a new level of understanding of the interactions among fuels, fire, and plant diversity that underlie the successful use of prescribed fire in longleaf pine ecosystems. The longleaf pine forests that once covered over 90 million acres…  More 

Life in a Treehouse: How Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bats Choose their Roosts

In the Coastal Plain of South Carolina, Rafinesque’s big-eared bats often roost in tree hollows throughout the year. “Bats spend a good portion of their lives in roosts,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Susan Loeb. “Roosts protect bats from predators, and are where bats interact socially, mate, and raise young.” Rafinesque’s big-eared bats are declining…  More 

Longleaf Pine at a 50-Year High in South Carolina

Efforts to restore longleaf pine forests in South Carolina are proving quite successful, according to data published by U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) unit. Longleaf pine forests now occupy less than three percent of an original range estimated at around 92 million acres that once stretched across the coastal plains of…  More 

The Harrison Experimental Forest

Located in the lower Coastal Plain in southeastern Mississippi, the Harrison Experimental Forest (Harrison) was established on the Desoto National Forest in 1934. By that time, vast stands of southern pines, mostly longleaf pine, had been cut from the estimated 31 million acres that made up the southern Coastal Plain forest. Located just north of…  More 

Longleaf Pine Cone Prospects for 2015 and 2016

Dale Brockway, research ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), recently published his yearly summary of projected longleaf pine cone production for 2015 and 2016. The report shows that the Southeast can expect a poor longleaf pine cone crop in October 2015. “Our estimates show the 2015 crop averaging only 12.4 cones…  More