The longleaf pine ecosystem is second only to that of the Amazon rainforest in biodiversity. White tail deer, wild turkeys, bobwhite quail and indigo snakes are all native to the longleaf forest, and the forest is habitat for hundreds of species of plants, as well as birds and animals.

Longleaf pine once dominated East Texas, where it grew to over 100 feet in height, with some individuals living for 500 years.

Today, fewer than 45,000 acres of the longleaf forest remain in Texas, much of the region having been replaced by the faster-growing loblolly pine.