The Rangeland Technology and Equipment Council (RTEC) is an informal organization of land managers, engineers, academia and private industry representatives interested in developing
new rehabilitation equipment and stategies. The roots of RTEC go back to 1946 when the need
for new site preparation and seeding equipment to increase forage production on western USA rangelands was a priority. Today RTEC emphasizes innovative technology and strategies to
improve land treatments on western rangelands through the supporting functions of equipment development and application of innovative technology.
The longleaf pine ecosystem was once the dominant forest community in the South; covering
over 140,000 square miles from southern Virginia to east Texas. There is currently less than 3%
of that original forest remaining. Over the past 100 years, forest was lost to tree harvesting and conversion to other pine species, agriculture, urbanization, and a lack of understanding about
how to manage this type of fire dependent forest.
A renewed interest across the region over the past twenty years has led to a range wide
effort to protect the remaining forest, convert other forest types back to longleaf, and to restore
non-forest land. A diverse, healthy understory component and fire are two critical and interrelated management tools necessary for maintaining a vigorous longleaf pine forest.
This RTEC workshop will focus on: 1) The use of fire or fire surrogates to maintain/enhance
existing forests, and 2) techniques, equipment, and native plant materials to restore degraded
or former forest areas. Interaction and sharing lessions learned will be integrated into
this half-day workshop.
At the end of the workshop a short RTEC business meeting will be held
to organize the 2015 RTEC workshop.