Controlled burns help restore Sam Houston Jones State Park’s Longleaf pine forest

Updated: Feb. 28, 2020 at 10:27 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - If you were out at Sam Houston Jones State Park this week you might have seen some smoke or even some flames. But don’t be alarmed.

About 50 acres of the state park were burned this week by controlled fires in an effort to restore the Longleaf pine forest. The controlled burns are part of a yearly project that helps remove any species that prevent wildlife and the rest of the forest from thriving.

“It restores the land back to the way it was and preserves this as a habitat," board member with the Coastal Plain Conservancy Brian Arabie said. "The Longleaf pine habitat is something that covered the landscape many years ago but there’s not a lot of examples of it left today.”

The fires don’t harm the trees and are controlled by professionals working on the project. The Longleaf Legacy Project was created by the Coastal Plain Conservancy in partnership with Louisiana state parks and sponsored by Sasol.

Overall, the project helps improve the forest and its wildlife.

“This makes it a more natural habitat and is conducive a lot of indigenous species a lot of different birds and wildlife," he said.

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