Long Pine Key - Everglades National Park
Long Pine Key occurs on the southwestern most stretch of the Miami rock ridge, a limestone outcropping that forms the eastern boundary of the historic wetlands of the Everglades. The Long Pine Key area encompasses approximately 19,000 acres. The generally higher elevation of the area supports the largest remaining expanse of pine rockland habitat in the United States. Pine rockland is characterized by an open overstory of slash pine (Pinus elliottii) with a diverse understory assemblage of neotropical, temperate and endemic plant species growing on exposed limestone with limited soil. Long Pine Key also features rockland hammock and transverse glade plant communities. Long Pine Key has been managed by the National Park Service since the establishment of Everglades National Park in 1947. Logging is reported to have occurred within pine rocklands during the 1930's or 1940's, prior to the establishment of the park. The area has since recovered and appears much as it would have prior to removal of timber.