Historically, longleaf pine ecosystems were the dominant forest type across the Southeast United States. Fire suppression and changes in land use have now reduced longleaf acreage to less than 5 precent of its original extent.

To restore these legacy forests, Texas A&M NRI is working with the America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative – a coalition of federal and state agencies, non-profit organizations, forest industry, private landowners, and other stakeholders. The initiative’s objective is to restore healthy and viable longleaf pine forests to the landscape, along with the full spectrum of cultural, ecological, economic and social benefits produced by this important ecosystem.  

Protection and restoration of longleaf pine forests will provide valuable habitat for wildlife; clean air and water for communities; economic opportunities for landowners through timber harvest; and stronger military readiness through compatible land uses near military test and training facilities.   

NRI understands the unique relationship between natural resources and national defense and has taken an active leadership role in the restoration initiative since its inception in 2007 by providing project management and outreach expertise, geospatial analyses, and policy development support.  


Stephanie Hertz

Stephanie Hertz serves as the Recovery and Sustainment Partnership (RASP) Coordinator for the Department of Defense (DoD) Natural Resources Program within the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment a…

Hannah Sodolak

Hannah supports the operations of the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute’s Wildlife Conservation and Mitigation Program and Military Land Sustainability Program, serving as a liaison between the team members and the In…

Brittany Wegner

As a program manager for partnerships for the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Brittany works with our partners to build strategies to grow the recognition and use of sound science, expanding conversations around co…


    Longing for Longleaf: A Tale of Forest Restoration

    Several SERPPAS partners appear in the Fall 2018 edition of The Longleaf Alliance’s The Longleaf Leader, “Longing for Longleaf: A Tale of Forest Restoration.” The article focuses extensively on how partnerships between conservation groups, state and federal agencies, and private landowners are working together to restore an important endangered ecosystem, as well as why this successful model of cooperation can be used for other at-risk habitats.

      Blog Posts

      NRI Partners Awarded Grants Through America the Beautiful Challenge

      The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program is pleased to join the Council on Environmental Quality and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in announcing over $141 million in grants through the new America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC). The 74 new grants will support projects that conserve, restore, and connect habitats for wildlife while improving community and installation resilience across 46 states and three U.S. territories.

      Range-wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine Released

      Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests once dominated the landscape of the Southeastern United States. From the Atlantic coastal plain of southeastern Virginia to the West Gulf Coastal Plain of Texas, these forests encompassed over 90 million acres and represented an extraordinary wealth and diversity of cultural, ecological, and socio-economic values.

      When America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative (America’s Longleaf) was first formed, the extent of longleaf pine forests had been greatly reduced with an estimated 3.4 million acres remaining. Through the collaborative restoration and conservation efforts of partners involved in America’s Longleaf, that downward trend has been reversed and the current data indicate that the acreage of longleaf pine has increased to approximately 5.2 million acres. This progress is encouraging, but there is still much work to be done to achieve the restoration goals outlined in this Conservation Plan.

      The 2023 REPI Report to Congress is here

      We are pleased to share that the REPI Program has officially delivered the 2023 REPI Report to Congress. The congressional report provides information on the REPI Program and supportive DOD efforts to conserve land and address threats to military readiness from development pressures, environmental constraints, and extreme weather events. 

      HEB Funds Texas Longleaf Team’s Longleaf Pine Conservation

      The Texas Longleaf Team is excited to partner with HEB to promote the restoration of the longleaf ecosystem in support of private landowners and rural communities in East Texas. Their support will promote carbon sequestration, water infiltration, biodiversity, recreation, and rural economies.  

      TLIT Named 2021 Conservation Wrangler by Texan by Nature

      Texan by Nature (TxN), a Texas-led conservation non-profit today announces the selection of the 2021 Conservation Wranglers. Conservation Wrangler is an accelerator program that catalyzes the very best Texan-led conservation projects occurring in the state. Selected projects are science-based and demonstrate a positive Return on Conservation for people, prosperity, and natural resources.

      Fall 2020 Sourcebook: Volume 1, Issue 2

      The Fall 2020 NRI Sourcebook (V1:I2) is here, a digital collection complete with the recently published peer-reviewed scientific publications, research reports, and resources developed to support the improvement of conservation, natural resource management and private land stewardship.

      Bird Species of the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem

      Longleaf pine and birds go hand in hand.  A well-managed longleaf pine forest that utilizes frequent prescribed burning can provide ideal habitat for a variety of bird species, as well as other wildlife.

      The Landowner Longleaf Challenge: A case study

      Finally, as the campaign came to a close in 2019, we took a real look at how a digital data campaign created face-to-face connections, putting the social back in social media and trees in the ground. 

      From Facebook timeline to longleaf lifeline

      Through a partnership between the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute and the Texas Longleaf Taskforce, a counterpart of the America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative working to restore longleaf pine ecosystems on private and public forestlands in Texas, the Landowner Longleaf Challenge launched in March of this year gaining an unrivaled momentum over the last 5 months. 

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