Okefenokee/Osceola Local Implementaion Team Provides Landowner Outreach

June 08, 2015 P4230056 Image 1 Thumb

By Alan Dozier, 02LIT

Pending approval of the 02LIT 2015 Longleaf Stewardship Fund grant, the Okefenokee and Osceola local implementation team will begin a new year under tutelage of The Nature Conservancy.  Alison McGee with TNC in Savannah will assume administration of the grant, and Alan Dozier will continue as the 02LIT Coordinator.   Kudos to Andrew Schock and The Conservation Fund for envisioning the implementation team and for getting it kicked off.

02LIT just completed two longleaf landowner field days, April 21 in Georgia, hosted by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the Georgia Forestry Commission and April 23 in Florida, hosted by the Osceola National Forest, Florida Forest Service and Gateway College. The Southern Fire Exchange was a big help to sponsor advertising, registration and other administrative support.  A litany of partners provided cadre for the indoor sessions and the field tours.  Between both field days, there were just over 100 attendees who witnessed longleaf pine restoration on both public and private land.

The 02LIT/TNC/Job Corps burn team was successful in preparation and burning of nearly 20,000 acres on the Osceola National Forest.  Stephen Foster State Park at Fargo, Georgia also utilized the team for fire mitigation work around their rental cabins and other structures.  The team gained valuable experience as they assisted the North Carolina Advanced Job Corps team for burning at Moody Forest Natural Area.

The Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners held its spring meeting on March 19, 2015 which included updates from the Georgia and Florida State Foresters, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Manager, the Osceola National Forest District Ranger as well as a presentation from Georgia Forestry Commission on invasive species identification and control.  O2LIT coordinator Alan Dozier presented an update of team accomplishments to the 65 GOAL members present.

Image 1:  Byron Hart of the Osceola National Forest puts on a live prescribed fire demo.  Photo by Alan Dozier.

 

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