FWC undertakes an alternative approach to resource management on FWC Wildlife Management Areas
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), has lead management responsibility for approximately 1.5 million acres on 42 Wildlife Management and Wildlife Environmental Areas (WMA/WEAs) in Florida. FWC land managers, in cooperation with the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI), have developed and are implementing an objective-based vegetation management (OBVM) approach to resource management on these Trustee-owned lands. OBVM, when fully implemented, should improve operational efficiency and natural resource product delivery. This approach supports science-based land management decisions by setting clear, measurable management objectives for existing and historic natural communities, taking management actions towards achieving those objectives and methodically monitoring vegetation response at set intervals. OBVM quantifies the present and desired natural community and habitat conditions on managed areas, incorporates a monitoring program to provide feedback on management actions, supports adaptive management strategies and supplies FWC with decision support and accountability for land management decisions.
Objective-based Vegetation Management Sampling Goal and Objectives
The goal of the OBVM Vegetation Monitoring program is to provide timely data to managers, biologists, and administrators to enable science-informed management of natural communities. Three main objectives relevant to this goal include, in order of importance: provide decision-support data to managers at a management unit level, collect plant community level data to provide a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) -wide view of the conditions of certain plant communities and accountability that across the WMA those select communities are, on average, within the bounds of the set vegetation structure and composition objectives (see each WMA Sampling Plan), and to learn how management activities influence plant community structure and composition. Sampling will be conducted at two levels, the management unit level and the community level, to address Objectives 1 and 2, respectively.