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Natural History

vast view of marshland in the southeast

The Southeast United States is home to many ecosystems that are natural communities of plants and animals. In the past, lands have been used for agriculture and timber production. More recently, efforts are underway to restore our natural landscapes. For example, many land managers are prescribing fire to pine forests, because fire is an important process that keeps these forests healthy. In fact, fire maintains several different types of natural communities in the Southeast.

Ecosystems in the Southeast include hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, and wetlands. Each of these communities consists of its own array of plants, animals, and natural landscape features.

One of the ways to preserve ecosystems and conservation resources is to set up a conservation easement on private property. A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently protects its conservation values, and provides assurance that the land will be managed according to the wishes of the original landowner.

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Original website content and design created by Mark Hostetler, Elizabeth Swiman, and Sarah Webb Miller. With the help of UF/IFAS Communications, the current look and functionality was streamlined for the UF/IFAS Extension Solutions for Your Life website. Al Williamson of UF/IFAS Communications uploads the steaming video for each episode. Images on this website were taken prior to national guidelines of face coverings and social distancing. The site is currently maintained and updated by Tom Barnash and Mark Hostetler.