Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Hendry county contain some of the most ecologically diverse and unique communities in North America. However, these same communities are threatened by a myriad of invasive nonnative plants and nonnative animal species, many of which are established, reproducing, and directly impacting native plant and wildlife populations along with reducing the value of areas for sustainable agricultural production. Early detection and repeated treatments across boundaries are needed, as two-thirds of the land is in private ownership adjacent to public lands. Acting alone won’t solve this issue. Exotic plant infestations on unmanaged lands serve as a constant seed and/or spore source to adjacent lands, as well as lowering the economic viability of these agricultural lands. Land management that works to include non-native invasive plant removal, in conjunction with prescribed burning, are two of the most important management techniques utilized in southwest Florida to improve, restore, and maintain healthy native habitats and retain productive agricultural lands.
The mission of this group is to coordinate and increase efforts between local, state and federal agencies and landowners of all sizes. The goal is to reduce the impact of or eliminate invasive, nonnative plants and nonnative animals by combining programs and resources to address invasive species on a landscape level to achieve common goals and objectives. Education and outreach will play a vital role in securing cooperation with public lands, private landowners, homeowners and visitors to the region.
This group was founded in September 2008 after a long history of cooperative efforts on public and private lands in this region with many efforts that spilled over onto private lands.
Charlotte, western Collier, Hendry, and Lee