American Forests is currently working to reach its goal of planting 2.7 million trees across 44 projects nationally this year. They are working to restore and protect critical wildlife habitat in projects like these.
Virginia Longleaf Pine Restoration Project
American Forests will reforest 550 acres in two Virginia nature preserves with a total of 300,000 longleaf pine seedlings. These tracts support some of the highest diversity of rare plant and animal species in southeastern Virginia.
South Quay Sandhills and Chub Sandhills State Natural Area Preserves, Virginia.
Why This Project?
Southeast Virginia was once a mecca for longleaf pine, featuring more than 1 million acres of it. But development, the timber and maritime industries and the fragile nature of this rare ecosystem have challenged the survival of longleaf here.
The South Quay property is home to a wide diversity of plants and wildlife, including bald eagles, and has been identified by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as an area of “outstanding ecological significance.”
On the shore of what was once an ancient estuary, Chub Sandhill Natural Area Preserve features a series of low sandhills, sandy upland flats and riparian wetlands along the Nottoway River. There are shallow ponds that serve as a breeding habitat for a variety of amphibians, such as spotted salamanders and eastern narrowmouth toads. These, in turn, attract belted kingfishers and wading birds such as greenbacked herons and great blue herons.
The work represents a large-scale coordinated effort to restore native longleaf pine forests at the northern foothold of the longleaf pine ecosystem. Restoration activities will be implemented across a 20,000-acre network of preserves by members of the Virginia Longleaf Pine Cooperators, a coalition of public agencies, conservation organizations and private landowners formed in 2012.
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