Resource Management

Black bear scratching - Promo Large

Refuges strive for biological integrity, diversity and environmental health. Much of the management work of refuges is to maintain, enhance or restore intact and self-sustaining habitats.

  • Fire Management

    Fire Prescribed Burn - Promo List

    In Florida, fire is an important part of the natural ecology of many vegetation communities, such as pinelands and wet prairies. Fire is needed to maintain these communities and prevent the encroachment of invasive shrubs such as wax myrte and willows. Fire also reduces the hazardous build up of debris and dead vegetation which can fuel wildfires.

    Learn more about fire management on the refuge.

  • Invasive Species Management

    Invasive Brazilian Pepper - promo list

    An invasive species is one that is not native to an ecosystem and which causes, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.  Invasive species are harmful to our natural resources (fish, wildlife, plants and overall ecosystem health) because they disrupt natural communities and ecological processes.  This causes harm to the native species because they are forced to compete with a new species for the same resources (food, water, shelter, etc.).  The invasive species typically outcompete the native species for food and habitats and sometimes even cause their extinction.  Even if the native species are not completely eliminated, the ecosystem often becomes much less diverse. A less diverse ecosystem is more susceptible to further disturbances from diseases and natural disasters.

    Learn how the refuge controls invasive species.

  • Habitat Restoration

    Habitat Cabbage Palm - promo list

    The hydroperiod on parts of refuge has been significantly shortened by the construction of canals along SR 29 and I-75, allowing for the encroachment of cabbage palms and other invasive species.  Historically there were perhaps a dozen cabbage palms per acre on the refuge.  Today, we see densities over 2,200 per acre.  This higher unnatural density of cabbage palms has increased fire intensity, damaging the forest stand.

    Learn more about our restoration efforts.