Three Rivers Land Trust in partnership with The Longleaf Alliance and Appalachian Mountain Brewery hosted over 30 volunteers to plant 2,000 longleaf pine seedlings on Monday, March 13th. This planting took place on TRLT’s Cotton Creek Preserve near Biscoe, NC, a unique property with existing mature longleaf pines and a few scattered young longleaf trees. This planting will add to the longleaf found on this site.

Appalachian Mountain Brewery and The Longleaf Alliance partner on “Pints for Pines,” a unique program that unites beer and nature enthusiasts to restore the longleaf pine ecosystem. For every case of AMB Long Leaf IPA sold, they plant one longleaf pine tree.

“Longleaf pine ecosystems are unique and very biodiverse,” states TRLT Conservation Lands Manager, Katie Stovall. “Although the longleaf trees themselves are important, it’s all the plant diversity in the understory on a site like this that is so significant. Longleaf ecosystems require hands-on management, including prescribed burning, so maintaining a site like this is truly a labor of love.”

“We were incredibly excited to partner with TLA and AMB on this great event,” states Associate Director Crystal Cockman. “Joining forces to protect and promote the longleaf pine ecosystem is a team effort for sure. Longleaf now only encompasses less than 5% of its original 90-million-acre range, so protecting sites where we know longleaf pine existed, like this Cotton Creek Preserve, is vitally important.”

In addition, with its location in Montgomery County, this longleaf pine forest is classified as a Piedmont longleaf pine forest and exists near the edge of the longleaf pine’s range in North Carolina. This forest type maintains a different understory of native grasses and forbs compared to what you might see in the more prevalent longleaf forests in the Sandhills or Coastal Plain ecosystems which are typically dominated by wiregrass.