July 8 – 14: Celebrating National Forest Week

Red-cockaded Woodpecker – Photo credit: Brady Beck

This week we commemorate National Forest Week, a yearly celebration that takes place during the second week of July, honoring the majestic 193 million acres of U.S. National Forests and Grasslands that provide countless benefits to society and the environment.

One of these precious forests is the DeSoto National Forest in Mississippi, that is actively managed and restored for longleaf pines. 

In 2020, Enviva and The Longleaf Alliance (TLA) signed a five-year partnership to protect and restore longleaf pine forests, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in North America. Longleaf pine forests are a critical forest ecosystem in the Southeast U.S. They are considered high conservation value forests because of their rarity and biodiversity value. 

Well-managed longleaf pine forests provide critical habitat for multiple rare species, including the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW), an endangered species that nests and lives in longleaf pine stands. The RCW is the only woodpecker that nests in live trees, and is considered a “keystone” species because many other species use their cavities.

In collaboration with TLA, Enviva has planted over 60,000 seedlings and worked with an RCW biologist to install over 50 new cavities, replace 54 cavities, and clean and repair 61 cavities in the DeSoto National Forest. Creating artificial cavities for these special birds increases the chances to increment their population in a much quicker timeframe, since it takes years for the RCW to create cavities on their own, making an important difference in the species’ recovery. 

“The National Forests of the southeastern U.S. contain some of the best examples of high-quality longleaf pine ecosystems. The Longleaf Alliance, along with partners like Enviva, have been fortunate to work with the National Forests of Mississippi to establish longleaf pine seedlings and support rare species recovery efforts on their lands,” said TLA President Carol Denhof. “Working through public/private partnerships allows us to make progress in advancing our shared longleaf restoration goals.”   

Today, as we celebrate National Forest Week, we are thankful for our partners, like The Longleaf Alliance, for guiding us and helping us steward public forests, and we are proud of our work supporting these very special habitats. Happy National Forest Week to all!

Cavity Installation. Photo Credit: Enviva

Cavity Installation – Photo Credit: TLA

Cavity Insert Replacement – Photo Credit: TLA