In Central Florida we often see plumes of smoke rising from fires in natural areas. This sight may create feelings of anxiety but the smoke may be from a controlled or prescribed burn. Florida’s ecosystems evolved with fire and prescribed fires are used to keep them healthy and vibrant. Prescribed fire also reduces the risk of out-of-control wildfires.
Although needed for the health of the habitat, in some areas it isn’t possible to burn. There are alternative methods to reduce fuel loads, open up the canopy and create more biodiversity. One such process was used at the Trout Lake Nature Center (TLNC) and is called forestry mulching. Another process is forestry thinning.
On Friday, March 16 beginning at 6 PM as part of TLNC’s Friday Night Naturalist series, restoration and fire experts will be speaking about fire and habitat restoration. Brent Saulsbury and Brent Keith from Wildland Restoration International (WRI) and Arthur Clothier, Fl. Forest Service (FFS) will be telling the story about how fire and other techniques are used to maintain habitats in Central Florida. In addition, they will be explain some of what has been and can be done to improve TLNC’s natural areas.
The non-profit WRI works throughout Florida and many other areas to improve natural areas, restore habitats and more. They will explain what types of projects they perform and how organizations, agencies and individuals benefit from their projects. FFS also works with landowners to improve or maintain healthy ecosystems and reduce fire danger. Come to learn about both organizations and how their programs benefit Central Florida, organizations, agencies and even individuals. Information learned can be used to help protect and improve your property and to better understand the rising plumes of smoke from a controlled or prescribed burn.
The program is free of charge but donations are encouraged. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 352.357.7536.