Watershed

The Tree that Built the South

March 5, 2015

Ben and Louann Williams are among a movement of private landowners slowly but surely reestablishing longleaf pine forests. Historically, longleaf pine was THE pine of the Southern United States. Its ecosystem once dominated the landscape from southeast Virginia, extending down through Florida, and west to Texas. Early settlers and naturalists marveled at the majestic landscape helmed by the longleaf pine, and according to the Longleaf Pine Alliance, the longleaf “was literally the tree that built the South.” But over 150 years of human settlement and activity, the longleaf pine forests fragmented and waned. Today less than 1% of the South’s natural stands remain, representing one of the most severe cases of ecosystem loss in the world. Perhaps private landowners like Ben and Louann can serve as models for renewing this nearly extinct landscape. Visit www.watershedradio.com for more.

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