Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Restoration on Small and Mid-Sized Tracts
Speaking of restoring the longleaf pine ecosystem, conservationists may present images of open stands I trees, prescribed burning, grassy ground layers, and of providing habitat for red-cockaded woodpeckers. Unfortunately, planting a longleaf pine forest, using fire, and recovering an endangered woodpecker all seem require lands larger than a backyard. To many, restoring an ecosystem can be done only on large parcels of land. Little attention is given to the kinds of projects that have conservation value on small pieces of land. The purpose of this article is to identify the values that small-landowners can bang to restoring the fongleaf pine ecosystem. First, I present a simplified concept or model of an ecosystem and relate restoration to that concept. Secondly, I define and discuss restoration in a way that suggests a wide variety of restoration projects. I discuss issues related to the size and location of a potential restoration project, and give examples of restoration projects on small pieces of land. Finally, I suggest some information and funding sources available for planning and implementing restoration projects.