Natural Lands Conservation and Managment
Most of the individual plants shown are rare -- how many can you name? (answers below)
In order of presentation:
FNPS focuses on conservation including the protection of native lands and management of those lands as this is key to protecting our native flora.
Land Management Partners (LMP) Committe
Florida's 3.8 million acres of conservation lands require active stewardship to maintain them as viable ecosystems and as places for people to use for educational and recreational purposes. As part of this process, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) conducts periodic reviews of state properties acquired under voter-initiated conservation purchases. In 2009-2010, FNPS members played a part in 87% of these reviews and are scheduling participation at a rate of 100% for 2010-11. On site land management reviews ensure that the property is being cared for in accordance with approved management plans. The success of our reviews of FDEP properties led several of Florida's Water Management Districts to request our services for reviews of their own Land Management Plans. The success of the Land Management Partners Committee (LMP) led to its establishment as a stand alone committee in 2010.
Supporting Public Conservation Land Acquisition
For many years, FNPS has supported state and local acquisition of conservation lands. We operate at both the state and local level to support public acquisition and appropriate management of lands that protect intact ecosystems, native flora, and wildlife. At the state level, FNPS was a participant in the renewal of the Florida Forever Program, and has supported the ongoing funding of land acquisition programs.
The Policy and Legislation committee worked tirelessly in Tallahassee in 2010. Although only $15 million was allotted for the Florida Forever program, FNPS played an important role in securing it -- a great improvement over the $0 budgeted in 2009.
FNPS helped motivate Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon of Florida, The Nature Conservancy and the Florida Wildlife Federation to jointly object to inappropriate surplussing of Suwannee River Water Management Land. Ultimately the Department of Environmental Protection and the Governor's office agreed with our position, and the issue of the value of those lands is now being reconsidered.
Invasive Plant Control
FNPS was one of the first non-profit organizations to become a signatory of the new Florida Invasive Species Partnership, and in 2010, FNPS worked with other members of the partnership to implement common goals for the control of invasive plants.
Grants for Conservation Projects
FNPS annually provides grants for conservation projects leading to the conservation of Florida native plants and preservation or enhancement of their habitats. These grants are funded through our general membership fees, and from targeted donations from individuals and chapters. Beginning in 2013, there will be a strong focus on Florida's endangered, threatened, and rare species and their habitats.
The list below lists recent projects that we have funded.
- Genetically-Informed Prioritization of Populations for Conservation in Two Imperiled Endemic Florida Sunflowers (Helianthus carnosus and Phoebanthus tenuifolius), Florida Panhandle
Chase Mason, sponsored by the (2013)
Mason’s preliminary research indicates the likely local extirpation of several of the known populations for both species, and historical herbarium records indicate somewhat broader ranges and more numerous populations relative to what is currently extant. Both of these species appear to be exhibiting declines, most drastically for H. carnosus.” Mason will provide genetic information about existing populations to land managers so that they may prioritize conservation of the most genetically diverse and distinct populations of both these species.
- Mapping Wet Prairies and Rare Species of Point Washington State Forest, Walton County
Thomas Greene, sponsored by the (2013)
According to Greene, "Point Washington State Forest, at 15,179 acres, is the largest tract of conservation land in south Walton County. [It] contains numerous wetland and upland habitats of good toexcellent quality including numerous wet prairies, an imperiled community. It also has populations of at least nine rare or imperiled plant species, including Asclepias viridula, Calamovilfa curtissii, Drosera intermedia, Hymenocallis henryae, Lupinus westianus, Polygonella macrohylla, Sarracenia leucophylla, Verbesina chapmanii and Xyris scabrifolia. Most known rare or imperiled plant species locations were last visited in the 1990s when the tract was acquired by prairies were omitted. Wet prairies are the primary habitat for at least 3 of the rare or imperiled plant species."