What We Do:
- Manage county-owned lands for ecosystem health and public access
- Conduct prescribed burns, invasive species management, urban forestry, and wildlife management
- Partner with state and federal agencies to provide cooperative assistance to working landowners regarding soil conservation and forestry management
Invasive species are non-native plants or animals that have a negative impact on our local environment, economy, and communities. They can be introduced accidentally or intentionally, but once they invade, they can be hard to get rid of.
Division staff partner with local and state agencies to manage invasive specie populations on county-owned and adjacent lands. Staff use a variety of methods to help control and reduce invasive populations. Mechanical removal and chemical herbicides are the most common and cost-effective, but every species requires a different approach.
Prescribed or “controlled” fires are small, low-intensity fires set by land managers to help manage natural Florida ecosystems. By reducing fuel loads, land managers reduce the chances of a larger, more dangerous wildfire. Prescribed burns keep the understory open to allow grasses and other small plants to dominate the landscape. Ash keeps the soil fertile and encourages new plant growth in the spring.
Prescribed fire is especially important when natural areas sit next to urban areas, such as the Jones Swamp Wetland Preserve, where wildfires can quickly threaten human lives and structures. Regular prescribed fires and other maintenance activities can help reduce the risk of dangerous wildfires and ensure fire-fighting infrastructure is in place in the event of an emergency.
NRC staff work closely with the Florida Forest Service and local public safety officers to ensure prescribed burns are carried out in a safe and lawful manner.