Longleaf pine forests once spanned 90 million acres of the southeast United States. Early colonists relied heavily on the pines as materials for shipbuilding: the trees’ tall, sturdy, and straight trunks being the perfect material for ship masts, and their resin was used as tar. By 1970, only 3% of the original forests remained. Many species that call these forests home—like the red-cockaded woodpecker, the indigo snake, and the gopher tortoise—became threatened or endangered due to this loss of habitat

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