Birder's Guide

MAY 2014

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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38 Birder 's Guide to C onservation & Community | May 2014 Pine Woodlands Calcasieu District, Vernon Unit). State and local implementation teams in the East Gulf Coastal Plain, in Louisi- ana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, have also accomplished a number of ac- tivities to restore and maintain longleaf pine forests. One local implementation team, the Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosys- tem Partnership, consists of partners who agree that increasing the acreage of longleaf pine through planting is a priority goal toward the recovery of the longleaf pine ecosystem. However, an equally high priority is increasing on-the-ground management, especially prescribed fre and invasive species con- trol, to restore and maintain longleaf pine forests and the important under- story component found in the system. In 2013, the team conducted prescribed burns on more than 64,000 acres, com- pleted 767 acres of invasive species control, and mechanically treated more than 19,000 acres to improve habitat. Fortunately, in 2009, Congress provid- ed national forests with an opportunity to secure signifcant funding for wood- land restoration work through the Col- laborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. The program, administered by the U.S. Forest Service, is intended to encourage collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration on and around national forest lands. Re-establishing natural fre regimes to reduce the inci- individuals participate in this voluntary partnership. Following in the footsteps of The Longleaf Alliance and the America's Longleaf Restoration Initiative, the Shortleaf Pine Initiative was launched in the spring of 2013 as a collabora- tive and strategic response to the dra- matic decline of shortleaf pine forests and associated habitats. American Bird Conservancy staff members also lead a partnership, the Interior Highlands Shortleaf Pine Restoration Initiative, focused on the restoration of shortleaf pine–bluestem and pine–oak wood- lands in the Ozark/Ouachita regions of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, and have worked with commu- nity ecologists in the region to develop a set of "desired future con- ditions" for both public and private land. Local implementation teams in Texas and Louisi- ana, formed in support of America's Longleaf Resto- ration Initiative, have been working for several years to restore longleaf pine forests, encourage and facilitate frequent prescribed burning, and ensure that suffcient sources of understory herbaceous plant materials are avail- able for conservation efforts. In 2013, these implementation teams accomplished more than 190,000 acres of longleaf conservation across the two states. Bird enthusiasts can experience frst hand the results of longleaf pine restoration and management in the national forests of east Texas (especially the Angelina and Sabine) and Northwest Louisi- ana (Kisatchie National Forest, especially the Because natural forest fres are sup- pressed across most of the U.S., Red-cockaded Woodpeckers now depend heav- ily on people to actively manage their habitat. Photo © Jacob Spendelow Red-cockaded Woodpecker numbers within Ouachita National Forest increased markedly when regular prescribed burns and other man- agement practices were increased near the turn of the 21st century. Image © Ouachita National Forest, USDA Forest Service 5-Pine Woodlands2.indd 38 5/22/14 7:54 PM

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