Today's wildlands often require care and restoration. Land managers, biologists, fire crews, and volunteers all help to ensure a healthy ecological balance in the lands and waters of the Headwaters of the Everglades. These stewards fight invasive species, replant trees, improve habitats, and add life-giving fire to the land.
Florida is the the US capital for lightning strikes, so perhaps it isn't surprising that many of our habitats are pyrogenic. Pine forests, scrubs, and grasslands all require fire to maintain their character. Trained crews led by a Fire Boss administer prescribed fires, also called controlled burns, to maintain and restore habitats in the region.
Invasive species are plants and animals introduced purposely or accidentally to a place, which have become harmful to native ecosystems or people. Due to its subtropical climate and role as a transportation hub for people and goods, Florida has the USA's most severe invasive species problem.
Researcher Becca Tucker monitors seasonal ponds. She checks pond depths and tracks the arrival of invasive species.
Biologists and volunteers are working to restore degraded habitats throughout the region. The Ridge Rangers, organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Society, are volunteers who focus on the Lake Wales Ridge area of the Northern Everglades.