COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The federal government is proposing a program to help restore longleaf pine forest in the Congaree National Park southeast of Columbia.
The State newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/1JR5R4O ) that a National Park Service plan now under review calls for using controlled fires, herbicide and equipment to clear unwanted underbrush along the park's northern boundary allowing the trees to thrive.
Longleaf pines used to dominate the landscape of the Southeast, but most were felled as the area was settled by colonists. Today less than 4 percent of the original longleaf pine forests remain in the region.
Biologists say the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker could benefit from more longleaf pines. The birds prefer older longleaf pines for nests.
The Park Service has targeted about 2,000 acres of the 26,000-acre park for longleaf pine forest restoration.
Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com