Published Quarterly by The Longleaf Alliance ... restoration across the longleaf region. (Continued

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  • Hardly seems possible that it is already time for another edition of The Longleaf Leader. I guess time flies when you’re having fun….or when you’re busy; and we’ve been both busy and having fun! Just a few highlights…in March, we made a presentation at the Southeastern Land Trust Alliance Conference, hosted a celebration of the third anniversary of the Range-wide Strategic Plan and conducted two 2-day workshops for NRCS in North Carolina…all just in March. In fact, I ended up spending only 10 nights at home during the whole month of March.

    April and May was just as busy, with a Spring Board of Directors meeting in Charleston, SC early in April, followed by a presentation at Norfolk Southern Railway’s beautiful Brosnan Forest in Dorchester, SC sandwiched between the Southern Company/NFWF annual conference in Columbus, GA and the second meeting of the Regional Longleaf Partnership Council, back in Columbus…all in one week. The next week we hosted a birding workshop in partnership with the Solon Dixon Center and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (facilitated by previous Executive Director EJ Williams), conducted an understory workshop for the NRCS in Alabama and attended a two day session at Nokuse Plantation in Florida with state, federal, and private partners to discuss connecting wild lands along the Gulf Coast to aid in conservation and to ease pressures on military training in the area. In May, Mark and Carol presented papers at the Prairie and Grassland Restoration Symposium in Starkville, MS. Carol also taught a class in bog ecology during this week! The following week I made a presentation to the members of Carolina Quail in Charleston and immediately went on to Tifton, GA where Mark, JJ, Carol and I conducted our 27th Longleaf 101 Academy to a full class of landowners and professionals. Three weeks later we were

    back in Tifton for our 28th 101 Academy during the first week in June.

    While we were busy with these activities, the day to day activities continued unabated. We made visits to landowners and answered scores of questions on the phone or via e-mail. I followed up my trip to the White House with presentations to the third grade class in Prattville, AL and the Senior Sunday School Class at First Baptist in Andalusia, AL! Go figure?

    Vernon is playing a major role in the Regional Partnership Council, by helping review proposals for NFWF Longleaf Legacy funds, interviewing summer interns to work at Eglin AFB and guiding the transfer of the GCPEP Ecosystem Support Team and their equipment from TNC to the Alliance. Anne is wrapping up the Alabama Forestry Commission’s ARRA project – an unqualified success – and putting the finishing touches on the Alabama Department of Conservation project. She continues to administer the Home Depot project, including field supervision of tree planting across Georgia. She also handles the administration of the USF&WS ARRA cost-share funds in Georgia. Since the last edition of The Leader, Anne also acted as our lead in completing our second formal audit, the results of which were favorable, as we have come to expect.

    JJ is feverishly scheduling new workshops and academies, planning the new Webinar series, working on the regional conference, and riding hard on the rest of us to produce publications and other products, including this newsletter. Carol and I made a presentation at Osceola Plantation in Thomasville, GA to members of the Williams and Parker families and Carol continues to be a leader in coordinating understory community restoration across the longleaf region.

    (Continued on page 2)

    From the President’s (Busy & Cluttered) Desk by Rhett Johnson

    Summer 2012 Volume V, Issue II

    The Longleaf Leader Published Quarterly by The Longleaf Alliance

    Rhett Johnson 334-427-1029

    JJ Bachant-Brown 334-427-1029

    Charles Bruce

    Vernon Compton 850-623-0987

    Carol Denhof 678-595-6405

    Mark Hainds 334-427-1029

    Ad Platt 850-982-8480

    Anne Rilling 334-427-1029

    Vickie Stallings 334-427-1029

    Deadline for submission for the Fall 2012 issue is September 7th. Send items to

    Correction from the Spring 2012 edition of The Longleaf Leader. In Bob Wilken’s article on “Seasonal Challenges” on page 6 it should have read that Jon Bailey burns with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, not the Georgia Forestry Commission.

  • From the President’s Desk continued...

    Page 2 The Longleaf Leader

    Mark is in much demand for his expertise, especially in artificial regeneration matters and the use of herbicides in longleaf management. He is working hard to put the final touches on our up- coming new course, Herbicides & Longleaf 201.

    Ad and Tamara continue to work with landowners and they are building quite a reputation for sound and honest management advice in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. Tamara and Mark represented us well at a longleaf field day in Louisiana, leading to interest in conducting Academies in that state. In the meantime, Ad and Vernon filled in admirably for Mark in Tifton for the June Longleaf 101 Academy while he recovered from pneumonia.

    The online self-taught course in the Economics of Longleaf Management should be live as of this writing. It can be accessed on

    the Southeastern Forestry Extension website at UGA and through a link on our website. We’re putting the final touches on planning for the 9th Biennial Regional Conference and it looks like one of our best. We plan to unveil our book, Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See in Nacogdoches and it really looks good!

    Looking back, I realize I’m only scratching the surface. Everybody is working hard and working well together, a necessary quality for a small organization and we have it in spades. Our Board is working with me to devise a funding strategy that will make our situation as stable as any nonprofit’s can ever be. The Board is also engaged in the process to fill our two new positions, President and Vice- President for Operations. We’ve received a number of applicants for both and the field is strong.

    We are still accepting applications for both positions and will until at least July 15.

    I would be remiss if I did not mention the departure of Bob Wilken, who will be a seasonal employee of the Alliance. His fire experience gives us real credibility in that arena and we look forward to his return from out West.

    The only time our office is quiet is when we’re all scattered to the four winds doing good stuff. When we’re all there, it gets positively raucous, with the phone ringing, shouting questions and answers back and forth across the halls, and with the busy undercurrent of work being done. It has become apparent that I won’t have the luxury of coasting to the end of retirement and I don’t intend to do so. Way too much to do!

    Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See A New Vision of North America’s Richest Forest By Bill Finch, Beth Maynor Young, Rhett Johnson and John C. Hall Foreword by E. O. Wilson

    Longleaf forests once covered 92 million acres from Texas to Maryland to Florida. These grand old-growth pines were the "alpha tree" of the largest forest ecosystem in North America and have come to define the southern forest. But logging, suppression of fire, destruction by landowners, and a complex web of other factors reduced those forests so that long- leaf is now found only on 3 million acres. Fortunately, the stately tree is enjoying a resurgence of interest, and longleaf forests are once again spreading across the South. Blend- ing a compelling narrative by writ- ers Bill Finch, Rhett Johnson, and John C. Hall with Beth Maynor

    Young's breathtaking photogra- phy, Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See invites readers to experience the astounding beauty and signifi- cance of the majestic longleaf eco- system.

    The authors explore the interac- tions of longleaf with other species, the development of longleaf forests prior to human contact, and the influence of the longleaf on south- ern culture, as well as ongoing ef- forts to restore these forests. Part natural history, part conservation advocacy, and part cultural explora- tion, this book highlights the special nature of longleaf forests and pro- poses ways to conserve and expand them.

    More information on this book, its authors, and reviews can be found at: book_detail?title_id=3080 This book will be unveiled at our Regional Conference in October!

  • Longleaf Academy - A Letter of Thanks by Karla Gaskins

    Page 3 Volume V, Issue II

    Editor’s Note: I was planning an article on our recent Longleaf Academy courses and the up-coming courses, but when I received this letter from a recent Longleaf 101 attendee, I wanted to share it with our readers. Karla’s heart-felt letter so captured the tone and feeling from this last Academy that it deserves to be shared...not so that we can toot our own horn, but so that we as a staff can also say “Thanks” to our fearless leader, Rhett Johnson. See a listing for up-coming Academies at the end of this newsletter and re