"Programs of the FWC 2015-16" is available as a PDF file. (3.16 MB)
From the Executive Director...
Welcome to the “Programs of the FWC 2015-2016,” a publication that tells you what the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is and does.
Just as our name states, we are all about “conservation.” This word reflects a rich national heritage and honors the great work of American conservation heroes like Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Ding Darling and Aldo Leopold. It anchors our mission in principles of wise, sustainable, science-informed management of fish and wildlife species and their habitats for their long-term benefit as well as for the quality of life for people who live in or visit Florida.
Aldo Leopold offered a concise way to think about conservation when he stated, “Conservation is a state of harmony between people and land.” Today at the FWC, we strive every day to achieve this state of harmony on the land and water as a team of dedicated men and women working in the broad arenas of management,
research and enforcement under the leadership and guidance of our Commissioners.
At FWC we want to make certain Florida continues to be recognized as the Fishing and Boating Capital of the World. Fisheries and boating will always be front and
center, given our abundant coastline, our plentiful freshwater lakes and rivers and so many great waterfront communities. There is no doubt about the importance of taking care of our freshwater and marine resources while keeping our waterways safe. These are truly some of the essential elements that define the special
character of the Sunshine State, our healthy quality of life outdoors and our vibrant “sunshine” economy.
Equally essential to maintaining the special character of Florida is our daily work to sustain wildlife diversity across Florida’s forests, wetlands, shorelines and beaches. FWC continually works with partners and stakeholders to focus conservation
actions where they are needed most, such as dealing with harmful nonnative
species like the Argentine black and white tegu; identifying and protecting key shorebird and marine turtle nesting areas; and working with private landowners to protect important habitat for Florida panthers. We also work hard to make sure people have great opportunities to enjoy Florida’s impressive wildlife diversity on public lands. For example, through land management activities like prescribed
burning, we help make sure people can enjoy sustainable hunting and wildlife
viewing across millions of acres of Florida’s wildlife management area system.
At the FWC, we recognize that the future of fish and wildlife conservation in Florida will soon be in the hands of our young people. It is a priority for the FWC to make certain this next generation has every opportunity to grow up experiencing and learning to love and appreciate the wonders of fish and wildlife. One of our strategic initiatives
over the past several years has been to expand Florida’s Youth
Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN.org
). To reach a broad array of young people, we have been building strong partnerships with local communities and like-minded organizations. It is exciting to see how fast this program is making such a big
difference in the lives of so many young people.
The future of conservation looks bright in Florida. Of course there will be challenges as the state continues to grow, putting more pressure on fish and wildlife
populations and habitats, but we can be optimistic considering the amazing
progress made over the past 20 years, like the recovery of bald eagles, manatees, black bears, wood storks and inshore fisheries, just to name a few examples.
I believe the architects of our nation’s conservation movement would be pleased with the work of FWC and our many partners and stakeholders as we continue great efforts to harmonize the essential connections between people and our fish and wildlife resources in ways that uphold the special character of the Sunshine State.