Piedmont Longleaf Pine Restoration: A Management Plan for the Private Landowner

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Date

2016-04-27

Authors

Worthington, Cakey

Advisors

Palmroth, Sari

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Abstract

Once abundant across the southeastern United States, longleaf pine communities now cover only 3-5% of their native range. Much of this land has been converted to fire-excluded loblolly pine plantations to supply the South's burgeoning timber market. Ecosystems dominant in longleaf pine provide valuable habitat to many unique and threatened southern species as well as financial gain from timber and alternative uses such as leasing for pine straw or hunting. Restoration efforts are currently being implemented on a variety of public and private lands, bringing a heightened awareness and scrutiny of the management practices necessary to bring back this important species. This study examines the potential for restoration of longleaf pine habitat on 3300 acres of private land in the central Piedmont of North Carolina. The intent of this management plan is to provide: a historical background on management of the property, current ecological and site conditions, a projection of future forest growth and value, and recommendations for restoration and future management in accordance with the landowner’s vision for the property. The study included collection and compilation of data on site qualities, an assessment of the current remaining timber stock, a forecast of the potential longleaf pine growth including the impact from fire management, and the potential economic value of the forest conservation investment. Major findings of the study include that fire is beneficial for competition control and that the potential for ecological and economic gain from this effort is dependent on selection of appropriate management techniques and alternative uses.

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Citation

Worthington, Cakey (2016). Piedmont Longleaf Pine Restoration: A Management Plan for the Private Landowner. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11877.


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