Private landowners voluntarily partner with the FWC to manage their land for the benefit of wildlife.
More than half of Florida's lands are privately owned and, more importantly, most of these lands support the state's 700-plus species of wildlife and are essential for their continued survival. The decisions made today by private landowners on how they plan and manage their lands will affect the survival of wildlife tomorrow.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recognizes the importance of working with private landowners in conserving wildlife and has developed a program to provide technical and financial assistance. The program is known as the Landowner Assistance Program (LAP).
The FWC's Chris Wynn coordinates the program. He knows that many large landowners already are considerate of wildlife and are willing to do more. Wynn has seen the program grow in popularity.
"Many landowners are doing the right things for wildlife without our help, and we are grateful," Wynn said. "It is our goal to form long-term partnerships with landowners and help them if needed."
Results from a recent survey of landowners owning 20 acres or more show 68 percent of them believe their regular land-management practices benefit wildlife and habitat. Fifty-eight percent of landowners indicate they actively manage for wildlife on their property. Prescribed burns, control of nonnative invasive plants and restoration of native plants are some of the things landowners do to provide the best possible habitat for the wildlife on their property.
For landowners who want to manage their lands for wildlife, the LAP offers voluntary habitat-management assistance. The program makes available technical, financial and educational support and also recognizes and rewards landowners for their efforts. To date, more than 300 landowners work with the LAP.
For more information on the Landowner Assistance Program, visit MyFWC.com/LAP.