Where are longleaf forests?
At one time, longleaf pine forests made up what was probably the largest forest type and ecosystem in North America! It is thought this forest type stretched over 90 million acres from southern Virginia to eastern Texas.
Today, there is only about 3% of this original forest left. That means we have lost 97% of this fragile and unique ecosystem! If you look at the maps below, the green area on Map #1 shows where this forest USED to be, or its historic range. The red areas in Map #2 show forest area that is left, and even that is not in the best condition!
Where are longleaf forests today?
Today, there is only about 3% of the historic range of longleaf forests remaining. Those forests are located on both public and private lands, and there are many organizations and government agencies working to protect and restore those forests. The maps below illustrate where significant stands of longleaf forests are located across the southeastern US.
Population growth in the US
Throughout this history, one thing remained constant -- population growth across the US and particularly the Southeastern US - as illustrated in the map of population density over 200 years below.