August 2016 Update from the Peninsular Florida LCC

Newsletter: August 2016

Latest News

Best wishes to Tim Breault on his retirement!
As many of you know, Tim Breault - our valued Coordinator for the PFLCC for the past five years - recently retired this summer. Tim's considerable contributions to the Cooperative and to the greater conservation community over the years are greatly appreciated. Prior to joining the PFLCC, Tim worked 36 years for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, most recently as the former director of the FWC's Division of Habitat and Species Conservation.

In June, Tim was presented with the Wildlife Conservationist of the Year Award from the Florida Wildlife Federation. Conservation award winners are chosen from nominations made to the Federation's board of directors based on their accomplishments on behalf of Florida's fish, wildlife and native habitats. Read more about Tim receiving this award >>
Tim was instrumental in helping to build the PFLCC partnership into what it is today and we wish Tim all the best on his well-deserved retirement!

And welcome (back) to Todd Hopkins as our new Coordinator!
Dr. Todd Hopkins will be joining the PFLCC in mid-September, coming to us from Reno, Nevada, where he was recently the Science Coordinator for the Great Basin LCC. Before heading west to the Great Basin, Todd worked on the Everglades Restoration Program with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he and his staff worked on several of the first restoration projects. During that time Todd also co-chaired the Everglades Adaptive Assessment and Management Team, and he helped write the Department of Interior’s Science Plan for South Florida. He was a member of the PFLCC Development Team and was also the PFLCC Interim Science Coordinator.

Todd has over 15 years of experience in Florida, and he has held scientific, regulatory, and leadership positions with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, and two National Estuarine Research Reserves. We are very fortunate to have Todd come aboard, so please join us in welcoming Todd back to Florida and the PFLCC!

Help shape the future conservation landscape by participating in one of our Priority Resource & Conservation Target Identification Workshops!
The PFLCC partnership is working to develop a set of Conservation Targets for each Priority Resource (listed in the workshop schedule below). The goals of the workshop are to gather input on potential Conservation Targets for each Priority Resource and conduct initial review of potential Conservation Targets using PFLCC criteria.

Two replicate in-person workshops have been scheduled:

  • September 19-23: Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, FL 32399
  • November 28-December 2: USGS Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center, 12703 Research Parkway, Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32826

Workshop Schedule
During the workshops, the landcover-based priority resources sessions will focus on identifying conservation targets. The Working Lands & Socio-Economics and Cultural Resources sessions will focus on further refinement of these priority resources and identification of conservation targets. Conservation Target discussions/brainstorming will be addressed for each Priority Resource — each in a half-day session. Participants are welcome to attend any/all of the sessions they prefer:

Monday 1–5pm: Coastal Uplands
Tuesday 8am–12pm: High Pine and Scrub
Tuesday 1–5pm: Pine Flatwoods and Dry Prairie
Wednesday 8am–12pm*: Hardwood Forested Uplands or Cultural Resources
Wednesday 1–5pm: Working Lands and Socio-Economics
Thursday 8am–12pm*: Forested Freshwater Wetlands or Rivers, Lakes, Springs
Thursday 1–5pm: Freshwater Non-Forested Wetlands
Friday 8am–12pm: Connectivity

*Two times will have concurrent sessions, participants will choose which to attend.

Registration is strongly encouraged but not required. Learn more and register here:

For additional information on the PFLCC Priority Resource and Conservation Targets:


Have you tried out the PFLCC's Conservation Planning Atlas?

The PFLCC team continues to work with staff at the Conservation Biology Institute to refine and enhance the PFLCC Conservation Planning Atlas (CPA), but we need your input! Please share the CPA link ( with your colleagues and try it out for yourself, then share your feedback either directly with Beth Stys, PFLCC Science Coordinator (, or by using the feedback feature on the CPA website. We want to continue to enhance this tool based on user needs. A few improvements we will be working on this year include a report feature and multi-HUC selection capability for the simple viewer. We are also exploring additional tool development, including a project tracker (who is doing what and where) and a climate action tool kit. Additionally, if you have a group that could benefit from a tutorial or webinar on the CPA, please contact Beth for arrangements. 

Ecosystem protection webinar series: Southeast LCC Blueprint Vision presentations
Looking for new partners, resources or information to help leverage your program activities? Start with these two upcoming Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) Blueprint Vision presentations hosted by the EPA to learn about innovations taking place across the Southeast. 
Four southeastern LCC Science Coordinators have presented or will be presenting the current status of their ecoregion Blueprint Visions in August and early September, including PFLCC Science Coordinator Steve Traxler on September 6. The South Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCCs gave their presentations in early August. For the remaining presentations, you will have an opportunity to hear: 1) how the blueprints are being developed, 2) why the blueprints are critical to natural resource protection, and 3) where leveraging investments on-the-ground is working today.
Bring your questions about how these Blueprints can support your program actions to better protect land, water and air resources.  For more background information, visit the individual LCC websites below.

LCC  Blueprint Vision Webinar information:
August 11, 10-11 a.m. EST: South Atlantic LCC
August 16, 10-11 a.m. EST: Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC
September 6, 10-11 a.m. EST: Peninsular Florida LCC
September 8, 10-11 a.m. EST : Appalachian LCC
All Blueprint Vision webinars will use the same conference call and web link access information:
Audio conference details: 866-299-3188; participant code: 4045628286


Photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Partner and Related News

2016 Sentinel Landscapes Designations Announced - Includes Avon Park Air Force Range
The U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD), Agriculture and the Interior announced on July 12, 2016, the addition of three military bases to the Sentinel Landscape Partnership, a conservation effort begun in 2013 to improve military readiness, protect at-risk and endangered species, enhance critical wildlife habitat and restore working agricultural and natural lands in the Southeast and Midwest. Avon Park Air Force Range in Florida, Camp Ripley in Minnesota, and training grounds in Eastern North Carolina were designated as the newest Sentinel Landscapes. These designations officially recognize the role that working lands and natural resources play in sustaining the military missions of installations and ranges, and the long-term health of communities.
Read the full USDA news release >>

More information about the three new Sentinel Landscapes is available for download in this factsheet. As each location continues to work towards their landscape goals, follow their achievements on the designation project pages underneath the Explore tab on: More on the Avon Park Sentinel Landscape:  

The South Atlantic LCC supported the effort for the designation of 33 eastern counties in North Carolina as a Sentinel Landscape by highlighting areas of overlap with their Conservation Blueprint. Learn more >>

Research-Practice Grants, Award Year 2017: A funding opportunity of the Gulf Research Program in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Gulf Research Program & Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are committing $10 million to enhancing coastal community resilience. Grants will support the development of research and practices that focus on the human dynamics of resilience. Proposed projects should bring together researchers, practitioners, and individuals from communities, including those from community organizations, state and local government, industry, and local businesses, so that all relevant perspectives inform possible approaches to advancing the science and practice of resilience. Involvement of local leaders and community members, particularly those substantially affected, is strongly encouraged. A Letter of Intent is required for this funding opportunity, due by October 5, 2016.  Learn more >>

State of Florida preserves nearly 4,000 acres of economically, environmentally sensitive working land
On August 2, the Governor and Cabinet unanimously approved the preservation of nearly 4,000 acres of sensitive agricultural lands in Hardee, DeSoto, Dixie and Indian River counties, while allowing the land and agriculture operations to continue to contribute to Florida's economy. The purchases are a part of the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which partners with Florida's farmers and ranchers to preserve active agricultural operations and their immense economic and environmental benefits through cost-effective conservation easements.

These partnerships increase the total land preserved by the program to 22,314 acres over 28 conservation easements. Since 2011, 21 projects totaling 18,729 acres have been acquired by the current Governor and Cabinet, a more than 500 percent increase in acres preserved. The perpetual conservation easements will preserve 384 acres of Fussell Farms in Hardee County, 834 acres of the Candy Bar Ranch in DeSoto County, 1,966 acres of the Land Family Ranch in Dixie County, and 752 acres of the Ox Creek Ranch in Indian River County. Read the full news release >>

2015 State of the Climate released
On August 2, scientists from the United States announced key findings from a peer-reviewed State of the Climate report that examines temperature, precipitation and weather events experienced around the world in 2015. The State of the Climate in 2015 report, compiled by more than 450 scientists from 62 countries around the world, confirmed that 2015 surpassed 2014 as the warmest year since at least the mid-to-late 19th century. The record heat resulted from the combined influence of long-term global warming and one of the strongest El Niño events the globe has experienced since at least 1950. Most indicators of climate change continued to reflect trends consistent with a warming planet. Several markers, such as land and ocean temperatures, sea levels, and greenhouse gases, broke records set just one year prior.
Learn more:

Florida Fire Teams Update
From Heather Hitt, Florida's Wildlife Legacy Initiative, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
In order to help land managers mimic natural fire and restore/maintain healthy ecosystems, Wildland Restoration International (WRI) has created three Ecosystem Restoration Teams (ERT) in Florida.  The Northeast Florida Team was established in 2015 and is supported by State Wildlife Grant, Gopher Tortoise Mitigation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Threatened and Non-game Species Management, and National Fish and Wildlife Federation funding.  This Team is based in Gainesville, operating out of the Alachua County Trust’s Prairie Creek Lodge and is available to help public and private conservation lands conduct prescribed fire and other management practices. 

As of May 2016, WRI created two more ERTs with the help of a contract with the Florida Park Service.  The Central Florida Team is based at The Nature Conservancy’s Tiger Creek Preserve on the Lake Wales Ridge and the Southwest Florida Team is based in Nokomis, just south of Sarasota.  Though these two new teams will primarily support Florida Park Service lands, both will be available August through November to support other entities on the Lake Wales Ridge and beyond. Read more:

Photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Upcoming Partner and Related Events

Ninth Annual Private Lands Partners Day
October 4-6, 2016
Sebring, FL

Private Lands Partners Day brings together private landowner leaders from across the country to share their personal experiences with cooperative efforts to conserve rural working landscapes along with habitat for fish and wildlife. The event, in its 9th year, has become the premier annual event spotlighting collaborative conservation and public-private conservation partnership. Partners for Conservation has hosted a national meeting annually since 2008, bringing together landowners and partners from across the nation. Learn more and register at:

Florida Forestry Association Annual Meeting
August 30-September 1, 2016
Amelia Island, FL

Webinar: Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools (LANDFIRE) - What You Need to Know and Why
September 13, 2016 - 1:00 pm EST
Sponsored by the Conservation Biology Institute and Data Basin

Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference
September 12-14, 2016
Charlotte, NC

Central Florida Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting 2016
September 23, 2016
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kissimmee, FL

Webinar: From Pixels to Landscapes - Leveraging LANDFIRE for Land Management
September 27, 2016 - 1:00 pm EST
Sponsored by the Conservation Biology Institute and Data Basin

Florida Springs Restoration Summit
September 30-October 2, 2016
Ocala, FL

 Eighth Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit
October 5-7, 2016
West Palm Beach, FL

The Wildlife Society's 23rd Annual Conference
October 15-19, 2016
Raleigh, NC

Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies 70th Annual Conference
October 16-19, 2016
Baton Rouge, LA

Annual Symposium and Membership Meeting of the Southeastern Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration
October 18-21, 2016
Quincy, FL

Rally 2016: The National Land Conservation Conference
October 28-30, 2016
Minneapolis, MN

Audubon Assembly 2016
October 28-29, 2016
St. Petersburg, FL

Interested in more related and partner events?
Click here >>

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About the Peninsular Florida LCC:

The Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PFLCC) is part of a national network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs). LCCs are applied conservation science partnerships among federal agencies, regional organizations, states, tribes, NGOs, private stakeholders, universities and other entities within a geographic area. They are designed to inform resource management decisions in an integrated fashion across landscapes at a broader scale than any individual partner’s responsibility.

The partnership will consider landscape-scale stressors, including climate change, habitat fragmentation, invasive species, and water scarcity as it attempts to provide a vision for a landscape capable of sustaining healthy populations of fish, wildlife, plants and cultural resources.

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