Summary of tour stops

Stop #1Regeneration methods for longleaf pine restoration and wildlife management

Barbara Bell, Calcasieu Ranger District Silviculturist, Kisatchie NF
       Lynn McDonald, Calcasieu Ranger District Timber Management Officer, Kisatchie NF
       Jonny Fryar, Calcasieu Ranger District Wildlife Biologist, Kisatchie NF

This stand was converted from a mixed pine to a longleaf pine forest over XX years by a series of activities that also enhanced the nesting, foraging, and cover habitat of deer and game birds.  While fire improved the wildlife habitat of the adjacent slash pine stand, thinning and planting will be required to restore longleaf pine in this forest.  
oThinning to encourage the natural regeneration of residual longleaf pines.
oIntroduction of fire with a dormant season burn to reduce the fuel hazard and minimize heat damage to residual trees.
oSubsequent biennial growing season burns to reduce vegetative competition experienced by grass stage seedlings and encourage the growth of desirable understory plants.  
oRemoval of undesirable woody competition by hand-felling and herbicide application.
oPlanting container-grown longleaf pine seedlings for adequate longleaf pine stocking.

Stop #2Advancements in seedling technology that affect tree development, wildlife habitat, and feral hog activity.

Susana Sung, Southern Research Station Plant Physiologist, RWU-SRS-4158, Pineville, LA
Mike Perot, Biologist, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Baton Rouge, LA

Strides in seedling production technology now ensure successful longleaf establishment.  Furthermore, the range of available stock types provides flexibility with regard to cost, an acceptable grass stage period, and rate of juvenile height growth.  Rapid release from the grass stage may be a strategy to decrease the attractiveness of planted areas to hogs.  Compatibility between planted longleaf pine and fire favors the growth of native plants serving as habitat and food for wildlife. 
oSeedling quality indicators.
oContainer type and cavity size affect emergence from the grass stage.
oContainer type and cavity size influence root system morphology and wind-firmness.
oSeed bank and native legume response to fire.

Stop #3 15 years of growth and wildlife values compared among three pine species

Dave Haywood, Southern Research Station Research Forester, RWU-SRS-4158, Pineville, LA
Rick Jacob, Director of Conservation Forestry, The Nature Conservancy, Lake Charles, LA
Steve Templin, Templin Forestry, Alexandria, LA

Once a decision has been made to use prescribed fire as a management tool, longleaf pine is the species of choice when multiple forest values such as high-quality timber, wildlife habitat, pollinating insects and birds, and aesthetics are desired.
oHeight growth among loblolly, slash, and longleaf pine contradict the view that longleaf pine is a slow growing species.  Timber value of longleaf pine.
oNon-timber values of longleaf pine forests flourish with frequent fire.

Stop #4Intermediate stand management and frequent prescribed fire enhance wildlife

David Moore, Botanist, Kisatchie NF
Luke Lewis, Regional Wildlife Biologist, National Wild Turkey Federation, Dubach, LA

The combination of frequent fire and gaps created naturally or by thinning stimulates the growth of succulent shoots from root-stocks and the germination of dormant native plant seeds.  In the process, undesirable brush is suppressed and light reaches the forest floor to perpetuate an open forest with habitat that is ideal for wildlife nesting, foraging, and cover.  To enhance foraging opportunities, disked areas can be planted with millet, sorghum, or other seed.  Alternatively, disked areas can be left fallow to encourage native legume germination.
oResponse of non-native invasive plants to fire.
oStand conditions with and without five decades of biennial prescribed fire.
oStimulation of desirable plants by fire.
oEnhancement of wildlife foraging opportunities by disking, fertilizing, and planting seed.