The Southeast United States is home to many ecosystems that are natural communities of plants and animals. In the past, lands have been used for agriculture and timber production. More recently, efforts are underway to restore our natural landscapes. For example, many land managers are prescribing fire to pine forests, because fire is an important process that keeps these forests healthy. In fact, fire maintains several different types of natural communities in the Southeast.
Ecosystems in the Southeast include hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, and wetlands. Each of these communities consists of its own array of plants, animals, and natural landscape features.
One of the ways to preserve ecosystems and conservation resources is to set up a conservation easement on private property. A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently protects its conservation values, and provides assurance that the land will be managed according to the wishes of the original landowner.