To ensure a sustainable future for the longleaf pine ecosystem through partnerships, landowner assistance and science-based education and outreach.
The Longleaf Alliance (LLA) was established in 1995 when it became apparent that the interest in the longleaf ecosystem and the tree itself was growing rapidly, but there wasn’t an outlet available for ecologists, foresters, wildlife biologists, land owners and land managers seeking information or a means to distribute information they did know. A growing body of anecdotal information, personal experience, and scientific data was being passed on fitfully, and many groups were not being reached. The LLA was therefore created with the express purpose of coordinating a partnership between private landowners, forest industries, state and federal agencies, conservation groups, researchers, and other enthusiasts interested in managing and restoring longleaf pine forests for their ecological and economic benefits.
Our structure is simple, our goals direct--the establishment of a functional longleaf forest ecosystem to the extent feasible in today's Southern forest environment. We understand that the restoration of a fully functioning longleaf ecosystem appeals to landowners in varying degrees. Recognizing that an intact longleaf forest ecosystem is not likely ever again to dominate the Southern landscape, we have adopted the philosophy that "better is better." We believe that longleaf in any form is better than a cotton field; that longleaf and native ground cover (like wiregrass) is better than longleaf alone; that longleaf, wiregrass, and gopher tortoises are better than longleaf and wiregrass alone.
The vast majority of forest acreage in the Southeast is privately owned. For example, private (non-industrial) landowners own 78% of Alabama's forestland. Forest industry owns 16% of Alabama's forestland. The remaining 6% is shared between national forest and other public lands. Consequently, we feel that the greatest opportunity to significantly re-establish longleaf pine forests is on private lands. A primary focus of ours is to provide economically viable and voluntary options for recovery of longleaf on private lands where most of the losses are occurring.
We serve as a clearinghouse for information on regenerating, restoring and managing longleaf pine; provide networking opportunities for our supporters to connect with other landowners, managers and researchers with similar interests and problems; and coordinate technical meetings and education seminars.