The 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. workshop is being offered at the Ebro Community Center, 6229 State Road 79. There is no cost to attend but you must pre-register by May 31.
“We believe this is a great opportunity for landowners interested in forestry and wildlife management practices to hear from experts who are knowledgeable about longleaf pines, their value in the timber industry, and how to meet your objectives,” said Ad Platt with The Longleaf Alliance. Platt, who covers north Florida and south Alabama, said he will also talk about various landowner incentive or cost-share programs to promote longleaf pines.
Following lunch, which is provided free of charge to all who register in advance, attendees will tour Nokuse Plantation, near Bruce on State Road 81, where longleaf pine is being re-established. Those who take the tour will see how to deal with problems of establishing longleaf in former sand pine plantations, as well as tour a gopher tortoise mitigation site.
Some of the topics covered at the workshop will include economic and environmental benefits of longleaf pines; native plants and wildlife associated with longleaf forests; prescribed fire and tips for landowners; and how to deal with exotic plants.
Longleaf pine forests were once the dominant forests throughout much of the South, with a natural range extending up to the 2,000-foot elevation in the mountains of Alabama and Georgia. This species, more than any other, built this region.
An estimated 92 million acres of longleaf pines existed when European settlers began moving into the southern states. By the mid-1900s longleaf pine forests were almost eliminated, with only 3 million acres remaining.
“Longleaf is again becoming a common sight across the south, and landowners are choosing this species for both economic and environmental purposes. Recent plantings have increased the acreage of longleaf to more than 4 million acres, and they continue to gather interest,” Platt said.
In addition to The Longleaf Alliance, other partnering agencies putting on the workshop are the University of Florida – IFAS, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Nokuse Plantation and the Florida Forest Service.
Anyone interested in attending is urged to register by calling the FWC Regional Office at 850-767-3634.