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Showing posts from June, 2019

Land Management Review: Seminole State Forest 2019

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by Jennifer Ferngren, President of Tarflower Chapter, originally published in The Tarpaper, July 2019. Edited by Valerie Anderson.

On a wet and rainy day the group of about met under the pavilion at the Bear Pond trailhead (map) at Seminole State Forest. Patricia Burgos, of the Lake Beautyberry Chapter, was the lead for the Society and Jennifer participated as an observer/trainee. The forest encompasses 27,540 acres of disconnected tracts, including the Warea Tract, making it difficult to review the entire park in one day. The group took off in four-wheel drive vehicles, making occasional stops at areas of interest to discuss management of the habitat types. Highlights of the field review included scrub restoration sites, the threatened Giant orchid (Eulophia ecristata) discovered in an old pasture, endangered and endemic Florida Hasteola (Hasteola robertiorum) site in a hydric hammock, very good invasive species management, and lots of blooming tarflower (Bejaria racemosa)! …

Land Management Review: Lake Griffin State Park 2019

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by Brian Brandon, Tarflower Chapter, originally published in The Tarpaper, July 2019. Edited by Valerie Anderson.

On June 12, 2019 I had the opportunity to “shadow” Juliet Rynear and several local and state government representatives on a land management review at Lake Griffin State Park. Lake Griffin State Park is located in Lake County off of Highway 27 in Fruitland Park. The park consists of approximately 621 acres of mesic flatwoods, sandhill, scrubby flatwoods, xeric hammock, basin marsh, baygall, depression marsh, hydric hammock, and river floodplain lake habitats. Although the park is not located on Lake Griffin, there is access to the lake from the park via the Dead River which terminates within the park boundaries.

The park primarily operates to provide outdoor recreation to the public. The park is improved with a large parking area that accommodates the parks public boat ramp, providing access to Lake Griffin. The park also provides pontoon boat eco-tours, kayak r…

Native Plant Conservation Campaign News: Controlled fires help both forest and human health - Stanford Study.

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Botanists and ecologists have long maintained that controlled burns can improve the health and resilience of forests and other native plant communities. Many native plants and animals depend upon periodic fire to reproduce and thrive. Controlled burns can also help fight climate change by reducing the amount and toxicity of emissions from uncontrolled fires. However, opposition to controlled burns, sometimes citing health risks from their smoke, has made it difficult for land managers to use this tool as much as is needed.
A new Stanford University School of Medicine study has found, however, that emissions from controlled burns appear to be less harmful to humans than those from wildfires. Researchers reported children were exposed to higher air pollutant levels during a California wildfire than during a similar-sized controlled burn, and the difference was reflected by changes in immune markers in their blood. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, “the study, whic…