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North Carolina Forester Received Longleaf Pine Coalition Honor

Forester Joe Dietzel receives honor roll certification from the North Carolina Longleaf Coalition

The North Carolina Longleaf Coalition recognizes a local forester by inducting him into their honor roll. 

Members of the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) of North Carolina (N.C.) attended the award ceremony for Mr. Joe Dietzel of Caldwell-Dietzel Farms LLC. Mr. Dietzel was given the honor of being inducted into the N.C. Longleaf Coalition Honor Roll. 

The mission of the N.C. Longleaf Coalition is to promote the maintenance and restoration of North Carolina’s longleaf pine ecosystem, including its cultural and economic values, by forming a collaborative network of diverse stakeholders to provide strategic leadership across the historic range while also supporting local restoration activities. Effective conservation restoration activities require a team. Mr. Dietzel was the recipient of the honor but acknowledged that it took a team to manage the forest. 

“This award quite frankly is a team effort,” said Joe Dieztel, N.C. Longleaf Coalition honor roll recipient. 

Because longleaf pine is so important to the state of N.C., the Coalition created the Longleaf Honor Roll to recognize those landowners who are working to improve stands and balance all the values of a longleaf forest – wood products, wildlife habitat, recreation, as well as aesthetics. To meet eligibility requirements, Mr. Dietzel had to meet the following conditions:

1.    Have a current forest management plan.
2.    Actively manage their longleaf with prescribed fire:
For longleaf < 5 years old, must complete at least one non-site-prep prescribed burn OR
For longleaf > 5 years old, must complete at least two prescribed burns in the last ten years.
3.    Reduce negative impacts from pine straw production, if harvesting straw, by raking on rotation with periods of rest and burning.

Mr. Dietzel’s submission was nominated by the Longleaf Alliance. The mission of the alliance is coordinating a partnership between private landowners, forest industries, state and federal agencies, conservation groups, researchers, and other enthusiasts interested in managing and restoring longleaf pine forests for their ecological and economic benefits. 

“Private landowners like Caldwell-Dietzel Farms are at the heart of bringing back longleaf pine to the Southeast. Our collective effort to restore this iconic forest starts with one tree, one acre, one property at a time. Celebrating Mr. Dietzel's success with the N.C. Honor Roll recognition amplifies the Farms' contribution to longleaf conservation by inspiring and educating others,” wrote Sarah Crates, the Outreach Communications Coordinator for the Longleaf Alliance.

NRCS works with agricultural producers and conservation partners to restore longleaf forests through the Longleaf Pine Initiative (LLPI), which was launched in 2010. Since then, interest in conservation efforts for this pine species have been very promising, Mr. Dietzel’s efforts have played a vital role in conservation of the longleaf needle pine. He’s worked with N.C. NRCS since 2015, with a total investment of over $62,000.00. These contracts have been within both the EQIP and CSP programs and focused mainly on prescribed burning and tree establishments. 

“Joe has always been someone who’s come into the office knowing exactly what he’s wanted to accomplish when it comes to conservation. This has made it extremely easy to work with him, and thanks to his commitment to implementing his practices, he’s provided an excellent example that we can point to in the county for this type of work,” said Joshua Davis, supervisory soil conservationist.

N.C. NRCS also provides other assistance through voluntary programs to eligible landowners and agricultural producers to provide financial and technical assistance to help manage natural resources in a sustainable manner.  Through these programs, the agency approves contracts to implement conservation practices that addresses natural resource concerns or opportunities to help save energy, improve soil, water, plant, air, animal, and related resources on agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land. To get started, please visit your local USDA Service Center.

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