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  • Virginia’s historic million acres of longleaf forest were a small part of a habitat that once dominated the coastal South all the way to Texas. Longleaf was seen as an inexhaustible resource.
  • But turpentine tapping and logging virtually wiped out Virginia’s longleaf by 1850. Single-species tree farming and fire suppression followed exploitation, decimating longleaf across the South.
  • Longleaf habitat supports ecological diversity comparable to tropical rainforests. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker co-evolved with longleaf and needs older-growth pine savanna to survive.
  • Bill Owen has planted more longleaf than any other landowner in Virginia. The Nature Conservancy and our partners assist with funding and management such as controlled burns.
  • In December 2013, Bill’s Raccoon Creek Pinelands in Sussex County hosted Virginia’s largest planting to date (525 acres).
  • Longleaf is more resistant than other Southern pines to fire, storm winds, disease and invasive pests such as pine beetles that are expected to worsen as our climate changes.
  • Bill will soon have nearly 2,000 acres under conservation easement with the Conservancy, with 825 acres already growing Virginia’s future longleaf forest. Return to longleaf story>>
Virginia
Restoring Longleaf Pine

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