Living in the land of pine plantations, we have an abundance of pine straw. So much so that they bale it and sell it as mulch. And it does a pretty find job of it and keeps things fairly local. I thought maybe it was a generally southern thing. Turns out it might just be a Georgia thing 'cause I suggested this mulch to my mother for her plants and she was unable to locate any. She was, however, able to locate wheat straw bales and went ahead and purchased one of those for use with her strawberries. She's surrounded by hardwood trees up where she lives so no abundance of pine straw for her.
The forestry department is trying to reestablish the Long Leaf Pine into its native habitats throughout the southeast and has been for a number of years. There's even a group called the Long Leaf Alliance (if I'm remembering correctly. I think I posted about them before) that tries to offer education on the tree. The main problem seem to have is that Long Leaf Pine is like the Sequoia out in California; it requires fire to thrive. And people are all "Oh no! Fire bad! Eeek!" cause they don't understand how to live with fire. Now the places where Long Leaf used to thrive are grown up with underbrush and saw palmettos and other nasty plants. Havens for wild hogs and such. People are just too damn scared of fire and uneducated about ecology and ecosystems to know better. So they plant Slash pine and Loblolly for their quick growth for the pole and pulp markets.