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Tyndall Air Force Base (TAFB)
Since 2005, F4 Tech has been supporting Tyndall Air Force Base (TAFB) in updating and implementing the facility-wide Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP). In part, the INRMP calls for TAFB to use adaptive, innovative, ecological forestry.
Starting with a comprehensive update to the forest resource inventory (all vegetation layers), F4 Tech has worked closely with TAFB foresters and wildlife biologists in developing and overseeing the implementation of a long-term management project focused on restoring the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem. In the 1960s, slash pine was planted exclusively in stands comprising approximately 8,000 acres on TAFB. In 2006, Tyndall Natural Resources began a phased longleaf pine restoration project that utilizes two treatments installed 20 years apart. This approach was designed to gradually reestablish longleaf pine, while still maintaining diverse stand structures and conserving ecosystem function. The scheduled completion date is 2046 with 517 acres targeted for treatment annually.
The first treatment involves harvesting approximately half of each stand through multiple-row thinning. Following this treatment, harvested areas within each stand are roller chopped and hand planted with containerized longleaf pine. The second treatment is scheduled to begin in 2021 with another series of harvests (removal of most of the remaining slash pine), roller chopping the gaps, and additional hand planting of longleaf pine. This approach is intended to reestablish longleaf pine at a landscape level with the understanding that slash pine will also regenerate naturally. The desired future condition will be forests comprised of widely spaced mature slash pine, two ages of longleaf pine, and uneven aged slash pine with an understory composed of desirable native warm season grasses, shrubs, and forbs.
Similarly, portions of TAFB are characterized as scrub habitat and many areas were planted in sand pine over a decade ago. These areas are also being restored through a series of management actions including mechanical vegetation control, prescribed burning, and other means.
In addition to the services described above in support of this project, F4 Tech has also analyzed inventory data and produced reports, helped identify resource targets, mapped habitats and facility assets (GIS), and developed customized data collection schemes.