On Monday’s WMNF Sustainable Living Program our topic was Preserving and Improving Florida’s Natural Ecosystem. Prescribed burning is one method of management of natural areas and this year’s Fire Fest is happening in Sarasota County on February 2nd.
Our guests were some of the participants at Fire Fest. Joining us was Jeff Weber, an Environmental Specialist with Sarasota County; Jay Bailey, with the Sarasota County Fire Department; Chuck Johnston, owner of 2 J Farms and Chris Reed, Land Manager with the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Florida is the lightning capital of the US and consequently we have many fire dependent ecosystems. A planned system of prescribed burning keeps Florida’s Natural areas in balance, reduces buildup of fire-dependent vegetation and helps control invasive vegetation. Cattle also can help control and create a healthier environment, mimicking the native grazers that once roamed the area.
Land managers and cattlemen often work together to help sustain a diverse ecosystem, but this process also needs management to be sustainable. For more information about Florida’s ecosystems and why fire is so important contact the Florida Native Plant Society www.fnps.org which has a large network of local chapters all over the State.
A link to information on Fire Fest is below.
You can, and should! listen back to the program here.