Photos Document the Last Remaining Old-Growth Pine Forests of the American South

Before the early 20th century, longleaf pine forests were ubiquitous to the southern coastal plains, encompassing approximately 90 million acres of land. But years of deforestation by the logging and farming industries took its toll on the forested ecosystem, and today only 3 percent remains. Growing up in the pine belt of southern Mississippi, Chuck Hemard would explore the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forest adjacent to his neighborhood, but it wouldn’t be until 2010 that the photographer would embark on a seven-year project capturing what still exists of the forests…

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