A Gadsden County landowner was recently recognized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for what the commission called an “outstanding” effort in wildlife habitat management.
Marc Dunbar, a Gadsden County resident and owner of the 136-acre Lonesome Palm Farm, was recognized by the conservation commission for several of his practices that have helped a variety of native species flourish on his land.
On his farm, which is located northwest of Havana, a mixture of upland pine forests, hardwood bottoms and slope forests speckle the 136 acres.
According to the wildlife conservation commission, Dunbar has implemented several management practices, such as the thinning of pine stands, planting annual food plots for wildlife, planting mast trees such as white oaks, conducting prescribed burns, and treating invasive exotic plants, that have allowed native plants and wildlife a place to thrive.
“Dunbar has significantly improved wildlife habitat on his property,” writes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “These actions have benefitted a wide variety of native wildlife species found on the farm, including white-tailed deer, bobwhite quail, wild turkey and songbirds.”
The commission goes on to state that it has been long recognized that sustainable wildlife populations depend on the efforts of private and public land conservation.
The efforts of private landowners to manage their own land to benefit wildlife and their habitat compliments the efforts of state agencies and, the commission says, “is critical” in ensuring that future generations will have the opportunity to experience and enjoy wildlife in their native habitat.
“Without private landowner efforts, countless plant and animal species will be at risk of significant population declines that could result in them becoming candidates for listing on state or federal threatened and endangered species lists,” writes the commission.
In order to properly recognize the Floridian landowners who are implementing practices that conserve the state’s native wildlife, the commission created the Wildlife Habitat Recognition Program.
This program formally honors landowners who complete specific requirements by awarding them with a sign to display on their property and a certificate recognizing their habitat restoration efforts.
“Private lands play a critical role in wildlife conservation by protecting and restoring rare habitats like the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem, managing farms, ranches and forests that provide habitat to many species,” says the commission. “While public land protects some species of wildlife, these properties form a fragmented landscape of habitat. Private lands connect these islands of public land and provide critical habitat and corridors necessary for many species to thrive.”
Ashley Hunter – firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation