The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Wildlife Division recently completed the second phase of restoring longleaf pine to the northern portion of Lake Ramsey Wildlife Management Area (WMA). On Feb. 22, 2007, Region 7 Wildlife personnel and the Wildlife Division Forestry Section assisted by the Fur and Refuge Division's Nongame Biologist Manager planted 4,500 longleaf seedlings. Forestry Section personnel accomplished additional direct seeding of longleaf pine seed at the site on March 2, 2007.
Over the past several years the LDWF Wildlife Division has contracted with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to conduct prescribed burning on Lake Ramsey WMA.
"TNC has done an excellent job with the burning program, enabling us to move forward with plans to remove the existing loblolly pine from the site and restore the native longleaf pine," stated Kenny Ribbeck, biologist program manager of the Forestry Section. "Our focus at Lake Ramsey is to complete the restoration of the longleaf pine savannah ecotype through our cooperative management program with TNC. The burning program is leading the way in restoring the natural herbaceous component associated with this ecotype, and the longleaf planting is the follow-up with the restoration of the natural overstory species."
An initial harvest of loblolly pine on the north units of the WMA was accomplished in the fall of 2005. Longleaf seedlings were planted throughout the harvest area in an attempt to advance their occupancy of the gaps created in the forest canopy through this initial harvest. A final harvest of the loblolly will occur within the next five years, as the planted longleaf become more visible and established on the site. Burning during this period will continue to promote the herbaceous component of the savannah and to prevent other woody species from encroaching on the site. LDWF also anticipates conducting woody invasive control on the site this summer, focusing on controlling Chinese tallow tree.
For additional information on the forest management program at Lake Ramsey WMA, contact Kenny Ribbeck at 225-765-2942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.