At the Florida Native Plant Society's 37th Annual Conference in May there will be a special field trip where you can Learn About Land Management Reviews. The site for the Thursday morning training will be Lake Kissimmee State Park. Led by Eugene Kelly and Eric Egensteine (Park Manager), this trip is designed to serve as a case study for the state’s Land Management Review process.
Participants will serve as members of a mock Land Management Review team. We will learn about the process while visiting numerous sites within the park. We will discuss the decision-making that guides natural resource management, habitat restoration, protection of cultural sites and recreational usage. The underlying question we will seek to answer: Is the park being properly managed to meet the purposes for which it was purchased? This trip will provide you with a deeper understanding of the challenges of resource management and protection, and prepare you for possible participation in an actual land management review.
If you haven't registered for the FNPS Conference, do it today. There will be top-notch speakers, workshops and field trips like this one. Do yourself a favor and sign up today and attend the Land Management Review, Fieldtrip E!!
One of the great things that the FNPS does for the state of Florida is to provide knowledgeable people to help with its Land Management Reviews. These reviews are set up to make sure that conservation lands are being cared for in accordance with plans carefully set up for them. The reviews help ensure that the lands remain functioning ecosystems, and can provide habitats for wildlife, and places for people to use in a variety of recreational ways. The people who do these reviews must spend time studying the plans, know how to identify plants, must travel to the site, and know how to interpret what they see when they get there.
|Panther habitat in Wildlife Management Areas|
Thank you to Jenny Evans who wrote the report, and to the Coccoloba Chapter who shared it from their newsletter.
~January was a busy month for the Coccoloba chapter, which participated in Land Management Reviews for three Wildlife Management Areas in Hendry County. Both Hendry and Glades Counties are included in the Coccoloba chapter's FNPS membership area. The lands, cooperatively managed by Florida Game and FreshWater Fish Commission (FWC) and the Florida Division of Forestry, were acquired to provide Florida panther habitat. Together the three areas, Spirit of the Wild WMA, Okalocoochee Slough WMA, and Dinner Island WMA, include tens of thousands of acres.
|Slough waters feed the Fakahatchee Strand and Big Cypress|
As part of the review process, the review team travelled into the WMA by swamp buggy, led by land manager Jason Huckabee. Management successes include the hydrological restoration along with the reestablishment of the historical fire regime, which benefits the native plant communities, including mesic pine flatwoods, wet prairie, and freshwater marshes. Significant challenges exist on this property as well, including limited resources and the expensive and complex nature of plant community restoration on previous disturbed pastureland.
|Crested Caracara needs large open-area country|
|Tortoise needs native grasses -photo by wildherps.com|
Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area includes 20,000+ acres that still have agriculture uses. Most of these uses are being phased out over a majority of the area. Much of the review participated in by Dick Workman and Karen Doyle dealt with getting cows out of hammocks that are needed by panthers for denning cover.
|Panther mothers seek out palmetto thickets for dens|
And here is the complete schedule for the 2017/2018 Land Management Reviews so you can participate in one that is most important to you.
More information on the FNPS Land Management Partners Committee is available at http://fnps.org/committee/