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National Wild Turkey Federation Makes Every Day Arbor Day

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Longleaf forests provide habitat for more than 900 plant and animal species – half of which are considered rare.

For volunteers, sponsors and partners of the National Wild Turkey Federation, planting trees is a year-round conservation effort that reaches beyond Arbor Day celebrations.

The NWTF's Longleaf Restoration Partnership is just one example of working to improve wildlife habitat and the environment through planting trees. Thanks to a $1 million grant from the Southern Company and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the NWTF is helping to restore 8,300 acres of longleaf pine ecosystems during the next three years.

Longleaf forests provide important habitat for wild turkeys, red-cockaded woodpeckers, bobwhite quail, gopher tortoises, and a stunning diversity of plants – more than 900 species – half of which are considered rare. Restoring this longleaf habitat will help increase populations of many threatened and endangered species, including 26 plant species and seven wildlife species native to longleaf pine ecosystems.

The Longleaf Legacy grant program was launched in 2004 and is the largest conservation funding partnership for longleaf pine between a public agency and private corporation. Southern Company and NFWF each contribute $500,000 annually to this 10-year partnership.

A previous $1.3 million grant from Southern Company and NFWF already has helped NWTF restore more than 11,000 acres of longleaf pine in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi since 2007.

Longleaf pine restoration is ongoing in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

For more information about the Longleaf Legacy program and the NWTF's tree planting efforts, contact Shannon Rikard at (803) 637-7643 or




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