Okefenokee/Osceola Local Implementation Team (O2LIT) News
By Hunter Bowman, The Nature Conservancy
The O2LIT had a busy summer fighting wildfires around the Okefenokee/Osceola yet also enjoyed some successes. In June, the O2LIT was invited to give a presentation on its activities to hundreds of youth at the Natural Resource Conservation Workshop, a weeklong camp for those interested in natural resource careers.
In July, the O2LIT was awarded another round of funding that will keep it working into 2018! The funding came from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Longleaf Stewardship Fund, and the projects will focus on landowner outreach and building technical capacity.
July also saw an O2LIT quarterly meeting. At this meeting, the team discussed plans to create Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) all the way around the Okefenokee Swamp (where dangerous wildfires often begin) stretching from Baker County Florida (already a FAC) to Charlton, Ware, and Clinch Counties, Georgia, and Columbia County, Florida. Becoming an FAC would seriously benefit these counties in the event of a wildfire.
Moving forward, the O2LIT has much planned for the fall, including preparing for multiple plantings in the winter, as well as landowner oriented workshops. And of course, more prescribed burning!
Image 1: Landowner Walter McDaniel and O2LIT Coordinator Hunter Bowman examine Walter’s excellent young longleaf stand. Photo by Laura Bosworth, GFC Longleaf Forester.