Enviva, The Longleaf Alliance announce partnership

By Enviva | April 01, 2020

On March 27, Enviva and The Longleaf Alliance announced the signing of a five-year partnership to protect and restore longleaf pine forests, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in North America. Enviva and The Longleaf Alliance will collaboratively implement Enviva’s longleaf forest restoration plan.

Longleaf pine forests are a critical forest ecosystem in the southeastern U.S. They are considered high conservation value forests because of their rarity and biodiversity value. Longleaf forests support some of the highest levels of small-scale species diversity of any forest ecosystem in North America. Well-managed longleaf pine forests provide critical habitat for 29 threatened and endangered species, including the red-cockaded woodpecker, the gopher tortoise, and the Eastern indigo snake.

Once spreading over 90 million acres, longleaf forests today only cover about 4.7 million acres. The partnership between Enviva and The Longleaf Alliance will support the goals of America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative, an extensive collaboration to increase acreage of longleaf pine forests to 8 million acres across the southeastern U.S.

“The Longleaf Alliance is excited to work with Enviva to bring new management opportunities and a much-needed market to landowners who are restoring longleaf forests. This collaboration will make a significant difference in furthering longleaf ecosystem restoration on high conservation value lands. This biomass removal tool will effectively kickstart the restoration process and allow landowners to reach their forest management goals more quickly,” said The Longleaf Alliance President Carol Denhof.

The Longleaf Alliance will provide technical expertise to ensure that Enviva’s biomass sourcing in mapped longleaf forests improves forest ecosystem conditions. Because many existing longleaf forests need thinning, and because millions of acres of former longleaf forests were converted to other forest types, appropriate biomass removals are a critical step in the longleaf restoration process.

“Enviva is honored and excited to work with The Longleaf Alliance on this vital environmental initiative,” said John Keppler, chairman and CEO of Enviva. “Longleaf forests are one of the most important and biologically diverse ecosystems in the southeastern United States. With this partnership, we are using our biomass sourcing to create space for longleaf ecosystems to flourish where they once did not and improve habitat for at-risk species.”

Together, Enviva and The Longleaf Alliance will work with stakeholders, landowners, land managers, and others to support longleaf restoration on public and private lands, as well as to monitor, track, and report on progress.