The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) acquires land in the state to protect rare species and ecosystems, and significant cultural and archaeological sites. These lands -- called heritage preserves (HPs) -- also provide outstanding recreational, educational, and research opportunities. Most of the state lies within the range of longleaf pine, and many of the DNR's HPs are forested in longleaf. Protecting longleaf pine ecosystems was the primary reason for obtaining many HPs. The South Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) also owns and manages several preserves centered on longleaf; plus it helps the DNR to acquire certain HPs. The DNR's and TNC's longleaf preserves range in size from < 100 acres to > 18,000 acres, and they represent all of the state's longleaf habitat types. These lands protect rare faunal species such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, eastern diamondback rattlesnake and gopher tortoise, plus rare floral species such as American chaffseed and Venus fly trap. With the help of the South Carolina Forestry Commission, the DNR and TNC conduct prescribed burns to restore and maintain the ecological integrity of the preserves, and to reduce fuel loads and help prevent wildfires.