​​pinhoti national recreation trail / pinhoti millennium legacy trail

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wildlife / ecosystem restoration.

US Forest Service













Welcome to the Talladega National Forest

Can you see two different types of forest here?
The ridgetop area of pine trees with an open park-like setting are managed for the 
endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, and other species such as quail, turkey and fox 
squirrel. The red-cockaded woodpecker requires the open areas you see here to survive.

The hardwood trees in the drainages or valleys are managed for wildlife, and to protect 
water quality.

The Forest Service ensures that ecosystems survive through the wise use of timber 
management and prescribed fire. A variety of ecosystems provide for a diverse, healthy 
and productive forest.

Where did they go?
Longleaf forests once stretched from Virginia through Florida and west to Texas.

Today, only enough longleaf forests remain to fill an area the size of Virginia. Most of this 
ecosystem was lost when wildfires were no longer allowed to burn naturally, and when 
lands were cleared for crops, timber and grazing.

The longleaf forests are linked to the declining of some wildlife species such as the fox 
squirrel, red-cockaded woodpecker and Bachman's sparrow.

Over 190 species of plants associated with longleaf ecosystems are considered to be 
rare.

The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker usually selects older, living longleaf pines to 
build a cavity for nesting and roosting. Depending on the age of the tree, it can take this 
bird six months to several years to construct a cavity.

Fireworks...
One of the greatest influences on the longleaf ecosystems is FIRE.
In the Talladega National Forest, controlled or prescribed burns are used to mimic 
natural fires. You may see Forest Service employees conducting these burns, which are 
necessary to maintain this important ecosystem.

This ecosystem requires regular prescribed burns to:
encourage re-growth of native plants,
reduce wildfire hazards,
enhance wildlife habitat, and
maintain the open, park-like setting you see here.

The plants and animals you may see or hear today need fire to survive. This Longleaf Pine 
ecosystem is a fire dependant community



^ climb up.