The content below has been tagged with the term “Florida.”
November 29, 2018 | 6 minute read
Camilla, Georgia — Hurricane Michael barreled across prime Southern timber territory, damaging five million acres of pines and hardwoods and destroying nearly $1.7 billion worth of marketable trees. Habitat for many of the region’s at-risk species — red-cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, eastern indigo snakes — was sundered. Red-cockaded woodpecker in flight. Photo by Martjan Lammertink, U.S. Forest Service. Now, six weeks after Michael killed more than 45 people in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, forest owners salvage timber, clear stands and pray for a market rebound. Learn more...
November 21, 2018 | 3 minute read
Joshua Havird lifted his quadcopter drone from its case as if he was handling a carton of eggs. The assistant fire management officer from St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge was on hand at the neighboring Apalachicola National Forest in the wake of Hurricane Michael. The Apalachicola, the only national forest on Florida’s panhandle and about 20 miles to the east of Mexico Beach, was hit hard on its western flank. Learn more...
November 14, 2018 | 4 minute read
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Florida – In October, 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union brought the world as close it has ever come to the brink of nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the most serious Cold War standoff between the two superpowers. Before it ended peacefully, a lot of people thought, with reason, that the end of the world could be at hand. When it was over, President John F. Learn more...
October 24, 2018 | 5 minute read
St. Marks, Florida — And now for a small bit of good news in a part of the country where a hurricane has made nearly every tale bad: The Monarch Butterfly Festival will take place as planned. Walk, drive and — yes — fly to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge to celebrate that colorful flutterer, Danaus plexippus. The festival is Oct. 27 at a refuge where Hurricane Michael came calling earlier this month. Learn more...
October 22, 2018 | 6 minute read
Bradley Smith seeks evidence that the red wolves survived Hurricane Michael off St. Vincent NWR. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS. Apalachicola, Florida — Bradley Smith stood tall on the bow of the SeaArk 21-footer with a VHF antenna held high. It was quiet, too quiet. It had been six days since Hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle and Smith was listening for signs of life on St. Learn more...
October 19, 2018 | 8 minute read
Panama City, Florida — They didn’t have much time. Rose and Perry Lane fled just hours before Hurricane Michael bowled into Panama City. They took Mary Lane, 92, Perry’s mother. Simbo the cat sat in a carrier on her lap. The Lanes headed inland to an emergency shelter at a school where safety waited. Or so they thought. The fast-moving hurricane, trimming Panhandle pine forests like an immense lawn mower, got to the school not far behind the Lanes. Learn more...
October 17, 2018 | 5 minute read
St. Marks, Florida — The images of Hurricane Michael’s rampage across the Panhandle have been seared, by now, into the nation’s collective consciousness: the roofless homes; the mountains of debris; the long lines of anguished people; and the miles of chopped-in-half trees. The worst of the damage came courtesy of winds nearing 155 mph. Michael’s counter-clockwise punch, though, pushed water from the Gulf of Mexico deep inland, swamping small towns, barrier islands and wildlife refuges, particularly along Michael’s eastern edge. Learn more...
October 14, 2018 | 6 minute read
Panama City, Florida — The battle for Mercedes Avenue was joined. On one side stood an army of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sawyers, swampers and heavy-equipment operators. On the other, a seemingly impenetrable forest of hurricane-downed pines and oaks blocking the street and keeping locals, utilities and ambulances from getting through. The Service’s sawyers readying to attack a tree. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS. Hurricane Michael had ripped across the Panhandle destroying houses, businesses and this city’s once-lovely tree canopy with equally reckless abandon. Learn more...
October 13, 2018 | 5 minute read
Panama City, Florida – The sawyers and engineers, swampers and commanders arrived in the dark Thursday unable to fully grasp what Hurricane Michael had wrought. But there was no mistaking the devastation when the two-dozen U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service workers woke Friday in this Panhandle town no longer recognizable. Virtually every tree for miles was down or damaged. Roofs disappeared from homes and businesses along U.S. 98 only to be found a block away. Learn more...
November 12, 2018 | 2 minute read
The general waterfowl hunting season has opened big at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida. More than a dozen vehicles started lining up more than 24 hours in advance for the opening on Saturday, November 17. By the time the refuge opened at 4 a.m. that morning, the line of vehicles stretched over the Max Brewer Bridge into Titusville. So far, 960 hunters have harvested 2,411 ducks over the first two weeks of the regular waterfowl season. Read the full story...