South Eatmon Longleaf Restoration
About the South Eatmon Longleaf ReLeaf Project:
Working alongside The Nature Conservancy of South Carolina and other partners, The Alcoa Foundation and American Forests are planting 100,000 longleaf pine adjacent to Francis Marion National Forest to help restore this native species to its historic range.
Berkeley County, S.C.
Key ReLeaf Activities:
- Planting 100,000 longleaf pine seedlings across 364 acres
- Restoring an imperiled, native species, longleaf pine, to the forest
- Increasing biodiversity
Why this ReLeaf Project?
This project is working to revert a previous loblolly pine plantation back to a native forest of longleaf pine. Longleaf pine forests once covered an estimated 90 million acres in the southeastern United States. Now, they cover a mere 3.4 million acres. By restoring longleaf to this area of South Carolina, we are increasing the habitat coverage for a variety of species and also opening the way for other native communities to return to the area, as longleaf pine forests are often associated with isolated wetland habitats.
Why Longleaf Pine Forests?
Longleaf pine is an important species for this area’s ecological health, supporting a diverse array of species. It is estimated that in the past, longleaf pine forests hosted nearly 900 plant species, and today, they’re known to support an estimated 100 bird, 36 mammal, and 170 reptile and amphibian species. Twenty-nine different species associated with longleaf pine forests are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.