Ocala Longleaf Local Implementation Team (OLIT)

Ocala Longleaf Local Implementation Team (OLIT)

Planting and Fire on Private Lands

By Cheryl Millett, The Nature Conservancy, and Ivor Kincaide, Alachua Conservation Trust

With funding from the Longleaf Stewardship Fund and in partnership with the Florida Forest Service, the Longleaf Private Landowner Incentive program now has agreements with 26 landowners to conduct 846 acres of longleaf planting, habitat enhancement, and understory establishment projects.  To get the word out this summer, we worked with WKMG/Click Orlando on a news story about what’s special about longleaf pine habitat.

To help further efforts on private lands, Barry Coulliette, our Prescribed Burn Association Coordinator, is focused on assisting private forest landowners in the region through technical assistance to the Prescribed Burn Association (PBA), and one-on-one assistance at the landowners’ properties to help build their own burn programs.  During the first half of 2018, Barry has worked with more than 25 landowners, and some are already working toward becoming Florida Certified Prescribed Burn Managers.

The OLIT also teamed up with the newly-formed North Florida PBA to conduct a fire weather workshop for landowners on July 21st.  Landowners learned from regional National Weather Service staff about fire weather, watch-out situations, and Florida-specific weather patterns essential to experienced fire managers.  The class also learned the details of how the fire weather forecast is generated by NWS staff on a daily basis.

IMAGE CAPTION:

National Weather Service Meteorologist Angie Enyedi discussing fire weather challenges. Photo by Ben Williams.