Longleaf Revival – An article from the Forest Landowner Magazine *
After inheriting his family’s loblolly tree farm in Virginia, Bill Owen has transformed it into the largest longleaf tract in the Commonwealth.
By Pete Williams
Bill Owen guides his Jeep Wrangler to a stop and smiles, knowing a visitor riding shotgun has never seen what’s laid out before them. We’re parked in the forestry equivalent of Jurassic Park, a 400-acre stand of 7-year-old longleaf pine on Owen’s property in Yale, Virginia.
Longleaf pine dominated the landscape more recently than dinosaurs, of course, though the trees also were driven to the brink of extinction. Once spanning 100 million acres from Virginia to Florida and west to Texas, they were harvested and replaced with farmland or faster-growing loblolly pine. Today only 3 percent of that forest remains.
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