SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia conservation officials say they have purchased nearly 3,000 acres in Suffolk that contains the last-remaining longleaf pine sandhill community in the state.
The 2,855 protected acres are known as South Quay (key). The land is an addition to the 287-acre South Quay Sandhills Natural Area Preserve along the Blackwater River near the North Carolina Line.
The preserve is managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The department says its long-term mission is to preserve the native longleaf pine, which was often used in shipbuilding. Longleaf pine forests once covered more than 1 million acres in southeast Virginia. They have been in decline for centuries.
General obligation bonds and a grant from the U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program funded the purchase.
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