Mon., December 21, 2009 1:12pm (EST)

More Longleaf Pines Returning
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 5 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Mature Longleaf Pine forest (photo courtesy United States Department of Agriculture)
Mature Longleaf Pine forest (photo courtesy United States Department of Agriculture)
The federal government is spending $2 million to plant pine trees throughout the Southeast, including Georgia.

The Longleaf Pine used to cover 65 million acres in the Southeast. The trees, known for their drought, pest, and fire resistance are now scarce after being replaced with faster growing varieties of pines.

Close to $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be spent to replant trees in Georgia. John Latham is with the Georgia Forestry Commission. He says he is one of seven foresters who got jobs as a result of the grant, and others will be helped as well.

"It's also going to create work for contractors and also money for landowners to do this work."

Landowners will get up to $10,000 apiece to pay for the planting of Longleaf Pines. Officials say they're targeting people whose property was damaged due to storms.

The Longleaf is also being studied for its ability to absorb large amounts of carbon, making it potentially beneficial for the environment.