Longleaf Pine Initiative in Mississippi Continues

From:  News Release   3/22/17   GCN
Jackson, Miss. – The United States Department of Agriculture / Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS) has financial assistance available to qualified Mississippi landowners wanting to
create or restore longleaf pine stands on their land.  This Longleaf Pine Initiative (LLPI) is offered
under the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to qualified landowners and forest
managers in Central and Southern Mississippi working to restore longleaf ecosystems.
Longleaf pine forests nearly vanished, but a coordinated conservation effort, led by NRCS and
other conservation partners, is helping this unique ecosystem of the Southeast recover. Longleaf
pines provide valuable forest products, pine straw production, scenic beauty, good wildlife habitat
and harbor many threatened and endangered species.  There are 29 threatened and endangered
species that depend on these forests for survival. Two specific species are found in Mississippi,
the gopher tortoise and the black pine snake.
“NRCS is committed to working with land managers to help restore and expand this critical
ecosystem,” stated Kurt Readus, NRCS state conservationist for Mississippi. “Longleaf pine
forests provide vital habitat to a variety of species as well as valuable timber.  We look forward
to seeing what we can accomplish with our partners.”
NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help landowners and land managers
plant and manage longleaf forests. LLPI is in its eighth year and has helped restore more
than 350,000 acres of longleaf forests.
Applications for all NRCS financial assistance programs are accepted on a continuous
sign-up process with specific sign-up deadlines being established to rank, contract and
fund qualified tracts of land.  Applications for the Longleaf Pine Initiative received by
April 21, 2017, will be considered for funding in the second ranking period.
For additional information about the Longleaf Pine Initiative, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/.
To find your local NRCS office, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=MS&agency=NRCS.
NRCS financial assistance covers part of the cost to implement conservation practices.
Interested landowners are encouraged to contact their local USDA service center or
go to Environmental Quality Incentives Program link for technical and financial
assistance information.  For more information, visit our website at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/ms/home/.
Applications are available at GetStarted.