The Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS) brings together state environmental and natural resource officials from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi with federal agencies including DoD. SERPPAS works to encourage compatible resource-use decisions and improve coordination by leveraging its members’ problem-solving and compatible land use efforts to the benefit of regional planning, conservation, economic development, and sustainability.
Ongoing projects aimed at restoring native longleaf pine forests have been a particular SERPPAS focus. Military testing and training in the Southeastern United States is critically linked to preservation of the longleaf pine habitat, and longleaf forest restoration can enhance military readiness through sustaining off-base compatible land use, providing natural buffers to DoD facilities, and increasing flexibility under the Endangered Species Act by protecting key habitats off-post. A number of installations in the Southeast are filling in the gaps of the longleaf pine ecosystem and helping ease restrictions on the full suite of testing, training, and operations. Two key partners in SERPPAS' longleaf pine restoration efforts are the America's Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI) and the National Fish and Wildlife Federation's Longleaf Stewardship Fund.
Read about DoD's efforts to protect the iconic southern longleaf pine in this factsheet.
ALRI was stood-up in tandem with SERPPAS to seek opportunities to maintain, recover, and restore the longleaf pine ecosystem across its historic range. With the completion of the Range-Wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine in 2009, ALRI identified its 15-year goal to increase longleaf from 3.4 to 8.0 million acres, with half of this acreage targeted in 16 range-wide significant landscapes. Following the guidelines outlined in ALRI's Conservation Plan, SERPPAS is moving into the next phase of sustaining functional, viable longleaf pine ecosystems that provide ecological, economic and social values to multiple stakeholders.
NFWF's Longleaf Stewardship Fund expands, enhances and accelerates longleaf pine ecosystem restoration across longleaf pine's historical range. It is a landmark public-private partnership supported with federal funding from the Department of Defense, the U.S Forest Service, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and private funding from Southern Company, International Paper's Forestland Stewards Initiative and Altria Group.