The mission of The Florida Chapter of the Wildlife Society is to serve and represent wildlife professionals in promoting wildlife conservation, biodiversity, and resource stewardship.
The University of Florida Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society has elected new officers for the 2014-2015 school year. Congratulations to the following newly elected officers:
- President: Erica Christiansen
- Vice Presidents: Elizabeth Sanchez, Ty Cramer
- Secretary: Jeanelle Brisbane
- Treasurer: Jessie Bergau
- Historian: Bryan Pepper
- Environmental Education Coordinators: Sean McKnight, Jaclyn Selden
- Conclave Coordinators: Rachel Sally, Maurice Greenwood
- Webmaster/Editor: Jordanne Laurito
- Sophomore Representative: Katie Wucker
- FLTWS Representative: Lauren Diaz
Dear Florida Chapter Members,
Please read the this letter from our Society to two Florida senators co-sponsoring the Florida’s Springs and Aquifer Protection Act (SB 1576). If you agree that this is an important conservation initiative, please take a moment to email your Senator (as a private citizen) and ask that a strong, meaningful bill be passed.
FLTWS Conservation Chairperson
Congratulations to “The Friends of Thornby”, a small, dedicated group of local citizens who have worked to conserve an area of environmental and cultural significance. The area, known as "Thornby,” is a 40-acre parcel of Old Florida boasting 1,000 feet of shoreline on Lake Monroe in West Volusia County. In addition to the cultural significance associated with remnants of an Indian midden and a possible Seminole Indian Wars fort, the area supported centuries-old live oak and cypress trees, more than seven acres of wetlands that serve as both a discharge and recharge area for the Floridan aquifer, and a host of wildlife and native plant species.
The fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) is a large tree squirrel that occurs over much the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains, with a historic range in the west from the prairie provinces of Coahila, Mexico to Manitoba, Canada, and throughout the eastern U.S. from western New York to Florida. There are currently 10 recognized subspecies, three of which have a conservation status: the Delmarva fox squirrel (S. n. cinereus) in Maryland is listed as endangered, and two subspecies in Florida, the Sherman’s fox squirrel (S. n. shermani) listed as a species of special concern in central Florida and the threatened Big Cypress fox squirrel (S. n. avicennia) in southwestern Florida. Two additional subspecies in northern Florida, the southeastern fox squirrel (S. n. niger) and Bachman’s fox squirrel (S. n. bachmani) have no conservation designation. Fox squirrels use a variety of habitat types throughout their range, but in Florida can most frequently be observed in the sandhills and mesic flatwoods.
In March, the President released his request for FY 2015 federal budget levels. Over the next several weeks, Congress will consider this request and develop spending bills to fund the government in FY 2015.
The majority of wildlife and natural resources conservation programs received stable or increased funding in the President's budget, with increases to the overall budgets of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Geological Survey. However, a few critical programs did not. For example, the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program (SWG) would see a 15% decrease in funding from the FY14 level of $58.7 million to only $50 million under the President's budget. This key program has, for ten years, provided states and tribes the resources to support and implement wildlife conservation programs to keep non-game species off of the endangered species list.
(From DEP news)
On Feb. 25 in Live Oak, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will kick off a series of six meetings around Florida to take public input on the Department’s water quality assessment and restoration priorities over the next two years.
These meetings are to present the 2014 Strategic Monitoring Plan. The Department will also present a preliminary Total Maximum Daily Load 2-year work plan, and will request input on the new methodology used to prioritize TMDL and Basin Management Action Plan development for specific waterbodies and water segments.