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Friday, May 21st, 2010 by

Longleaf Forest Fact Sheet

Download a PDF of the Longleaf Forest Fact Sheet

The longleaf pine forest—which inspired NewSouth young adult novelist Roger Reid in the writing of his book Longleaf—is central to the mission of a small but dedicated group of folks at The Longleaf Alliance. Their goal is to educate about the importance of the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Little known to most people, the longleaf pine forest was once very mighty. Prior to European settlement, it dominated the southeastern United States, occupying a vast 93 million acres. Greatly reduced in size today, the forest is still home to 900 plant species. A longleaf ecosystem maintained by prescribed burns is one of the most ecologically diverse in the world (riveling rain forests), and is home to some of the most rare and unique plants and animals on the North American continent.

Roger Reid’s young adult novel Longleaf, which is chock-full of such facts about the forest, has proven an invaluable aid to The Longleaf Alliance’s educational outreach program. Reid brings the forest to life, advertising its wonders and its dangers, through the eyes of two likable teenaged protagonists. Longleaf is both an important learning tool and a guaranteed gripping read for adventure lovers of all ages.

Presentations by Roger and Longleaf Alliance educators to schools in Alabama and Louisiana have been made possible by the donations of generous sponsors. Now, in order to make these programs available to schools in Mississippi and Florida, as well as additional schools in Alabama, The Longleaf Alliance is seeking new sponsors to cover travel costs and the distribution of materials. Invitations for Reid and Longleaf Alliance staff to visit schools in these states have already been issued; sponsor funding is needed to assure that these visits can be made. Mark Hainds, Research Coordinator, says, “We’re really going to educate a whole generation about the longleaf ecosystem if we can find enough support to cover our costs and get into the classrooms.”

Download a Longleaf Forest Fact Sheet.

Anyone who would like to sponsor distribution of Longleaf can contact Mark Hainds of The Longleaf Alliance at 334-427-1029.

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