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Field Trips

An abundance of great locations near Orlando will host field trips on Saturday, December 2. There is one overnight trip to Big Cypress that leaves Friday afternoon.

Fire management issues ranging from prescribed fire in the wildland-urban interface to long term management with short return fire intervals to managing fire for endangered species will be set against backdrops of sand pine ridges, longleaf pine uplands, pine-shrub flatwoods, swamps and ubiquitous human development and resource use. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about a landscape where fire, ecology, humans, management and science are so closely intertwined, with take-home messages you can use.

More details on all of these field trips will be coming soon.

  1. St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park Burnover Staff Ride
    Theme: On-site staff ride to review the 2004 prescribed fire burnover incident with key staff.  Depart Hotel: 7:30AM, Return to Hotel: 4:40 PM
  2. St Johns River Water Management Hal Scott Property
    Theme: Firewise Communities and How that Commitment Helps Fire Ecology and Prescribed Fire Management of Adjacent Public Lands
    Description: This field trip will visit the District managed the Hal Scott Regional Park and Preserve and the adjacent Wedgefield Community. Hal Scott is managed with a real short fire return interval (2-3 years) to maintain habitat for the endangered red cockaded woodpecker (RCW). This is especially notable because Hal Scott is immediately adjacent to and wraps around the west edge of the Wedgefield community which hosts 7,400 residents. Through cooperation, Wedgefield became the first Firewise Community in Florida. That cooperation and symbiotic relationship has benefited both the human and wildlife residents of the area.  Depart Hotel: 7:30AM, Return to Hotel: 12:35 PM
  3. Archbold Biological Station
    Theme: Scrub ecology and research.  Depart Hotel: 7:30AM, Return to Hotel: 3:20 PM
  4. TNC Tiger Creek Preserve
    Theme: Prescribed Fire Restoration / Dendrochronology / Longleaf Pine Palmetto Dynamics.  Depart Hotel: 7:30AM, Return to Hotel: 1:30 PM
  5. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
    Theme: Prescribed fire restoration/landscape burning, Florida dry prairie (G2) ecosystem management, Florida Grasshopper Sparrow biology/cooperative approach to saving a species, recreation and state parks’ management.  Depart Hotel: 7:30AM, Return to Hotel: 2:00 PM
  6. USAF Avon Park Bombing Range
    Theme: Scrub Jays, Grasshopper Sparrows, Prescribed Fire, Department of Defence Natural Resource Management.  Depart Hotel: 7:30AM, Return to Hotel: 2:30 PM
  7. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge/NASA
    Theme: Scrub ecology and research within the goals of multiple space programs and the NWR Program.  Depart Hotel: 7:30AM, Return to Hotel: 2:30 PM
  8. Big Cypress National Preserve Overnight Trip
    Description: Big Cypress National Preserve is a place of wonder and this forested wetland is rich with a variety of ecological processes. Fire, flooding, hurricanes, and occasional freezing temperatures shape the South Florida landscape. Home to the Florida Panther, as well as a rich array of sub-tropical flora and fauna, the expansive National Preserve is one of the National Park Service’s largest fire programs managing more acres of active fire than entire regions of the the US. With over twenty five years of fire monitoring and research, NPS fire managers work together to apply fire in ever-changing conditions.The 729,000-acre watershed at the southern tip of Florida is the juxtaposition of vast wildlands adjacent to urban Florida and presents fascinating challenges for fire management. This complex ecosystem is critical to the survival of a host of threatened species. Exotic invasive species and hydrological alterations are part of the restoration and management story.Join us for an exciting overnight adventure to Big Cypress National Preserve. We will stay at the historic Ivey House at Everglades City, a small island village rich with local lore and seafood on the doorstep of the Ten Thousand islands. After the overnight at Everglades City we will meet at the nearby Big Cypress Welcome Center for orientation and embark upon a half-day swamp buggy excursion into the wild to explore how fire managers and biologists work together to apply fire in this sub-tropical wilderness. For more information enjoy this exciting fire ecology video “Mud Lake Mosaic.”Additional Important Details: This tour leaves the conference hotel on Friday afternoon. Participants will stay overnight at the Ivey House in Everglades City ( A block of rooms will be reserved. Participants will be responsible for their own lodging and dinner expenses. Participants will meet at the Big Cypress National Preserve Visitor Center for Orientation Saturday morning. We will complete our field trip early afternoon on Saturday to allow for a relaxing ride back to the Orlando area in time for your evening meal.Depart Hotel: 2:00PM Friday, 12/1/17, Arrive at site: 6:00PM Ivey House, Everglades City, Depart Ivey House for Big Cypress National Preserve Welcome Center: 8:00AM Saturday, Arrive Hotel: 6:00PM Saturday, 12/2/17
    Additional Cost to Factor: Overnight Lodging Costs paid by Participant. Dinner and Breakfast Costs paid by Participant.