US foundation allocates over $33 mln to restore longleaf pine forests

Published 16:31 on June 19, 2024  /  Last updated at 16:31 on June 19, 2024  / Giada Ferraglioni /  Americas, Biodiversity, US

A US-headquartered foundation has announced the allocation of $33.5 million in grants to finance the conservation and restoration of longleaf pine forests in eight southern states.

A US-headquartered foundation has announced the allocation of $33.5 million in grants to finance the conservation and restoration of longleaf pine forests in eight southern states.

The grants will support 30 projects and help establish more than 70,000 acres (28,300 hectares) of longleaf pine habitat in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, according to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

Funds will be delivered through NFWF’s Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund, and include contributions from the Bezos Earth Fund as well as increased funding from the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“This historic investment continues to broaden our inclusive engagement with private landowners and conservation partners to tackle shared priorities for longleaf forests and wildlife habitat on an even larger scale,” said NRCS chief Terry Cosby.

“These ecosystems are a vital part of the conservation landscape in the South, and we are looking forward to seeing the impacts of the innovative approaches these projects will use to restore longleaf pine ecosystems and enhance habitat for critical wildlife.”

Under the programme, $5.3 mln will go towards planting 13,000 acres of longleaf and increasing listed and at-risk species populations across seven of the eight states covered by the grants.

As well, $2.4 mln will support private landowners in north and central Florida in developing forest management plans and restoring longleaf pine on more than 10,000 acres, while a $2.4-mln grant will assist private landowners in adopting advanced restoration practices in Alabama and Georgia.

Longleaf pine ecosystem is regarded as one of the most biodiverse in the world, and is home to 40 species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

NFWF, a Congress-chartered private conservation grant-maker, was granted $30 mln by the Bezos Earth Fund last year, earmarked for protecting threatened longleaf pine forests and Northern Great Plains grasslands.

By Giada Ferraglioni – giada@carbon-pulse.com

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