In 1998 the Forest Service planted 114,100 longleaf pine seedlings on 163 acres in the Francis Marion National Forest. This site historically was a longleaf pine ecosystem, which has been declining for several centuries although it originally stretched along the coastal plains from Virginia to Texas. However, after it was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 the area came back naturally as a loblolly pine stand. In April 1997 the area was damaged by wildlife and it was decided that the site should be restored back to longleaf pine. This project will help restore the longleaf pine ecosystem of the forest, provide a high quality wood product for the future and create habitat for threatened and endangered species such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, American chafseed, flatwoods salamander and pondberry .
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