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January 7, 2010

Longleaf Alliance conference set in Wilmington, N.C.

Mark your calendar now for Oct. 12-15 when the Longleaf Alliance will hold its Eighth Regional Conference in Wilmington, N.C., in the Wilmington Convention Center.
The Longleaf Alliance is a grassroots organization formed in 1996 to serve as a clearinghouse for information on regenerating, restoring and managing longleaf pine; provide networking opportunities for its members to connect with other landowners, managers and researchers with similar interests and problems; and coordinate technical meetings and education seminars.

The Alliance's members include consulting foresters and wildlife biologists, private landowners, corporations, state and federal government agencies, including the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and various conservation organizations.
Johnny Stowe, DNR forester and wildlife biologist and a longtime member of the Longleaf Alliance, said longleaf pine savannas, woodlands and forests have phenomenal biodiversity. "It is among the richest array of plants and animals in the temperate world," Stowe said, "and of course, intact, frequently burned longleaf ecosystems are highly productive wildlife habitat, especially for grassland birds like bobwhite quail. Not only that, but longleaf is a great investment for risk-averse landowners, since it produces high-value products like telephone poles and prime lumber, and is resistant to insects, diseases, wildfire and wind-damage."
Another unique attribute of South Carolina's longleaf forests is the key role they played in the state's history, and their contribution to the Palmetto State's heritage, culture, traditions and character. "Like the use of prescribed fire, which longleaf is closely linked to, longleaf is part of who we are," Stowe said. "Fire and longleaf are inextricably linked in South Carolina's past, and we need to make sure they are part of our future."

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.

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