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Conservation
The Center's Conservation Program

Ichauway is a diverse property containing longleaf pine forests, wetlands, a river, a stream, agricultural fields, and so much more. The charge of our Conservation program is to manage and maintain excellence in all aspects of our land and facilities.

Ichauway is a diverse property containing longleaf pine forests, wetlands, a river, a stream, agricultural fields, and so much more. The charge of our Conservation program is to manage and maintain excellence in all aspects of our land and facilities.

Primary land management activities include
an extensive prescribed fire program
conservation-based forest management
restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem across the Ichauway landscape
Our wildlife program includes
game management for species such as bobwhite quail and white-tailed deer
management and monitoring of nongame and endangered species associated with the longleaf pine ecosystem such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise
Primary land management activities include
an extensive prescribed fire program
an extensive prescribed fire program
restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem across the Ichauway landscape
Our wildlife program includes
game management for species such as bobwhite quail and white-tailed deer
management and monitoring of nongame and endangered species associated with the longleaf pine ecosystem such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise
This means that our crews are actively involved in:
Long-term stewardship
Technical management information
Integration of our research and natural research management

Long-term stewardship of the natural resources of Ichauway, including the management and restoration of the full range of natural communities and their component species.

Technical management information for the Jones Center and beyond, showcasing Ichauway as an example of sound resource management in the region.

This allows these programs to inform one another, and incorporates diverse activities into a management model that balances multiple values in the context of a deeply-rooted land ethic.

This means that our crews are actively involved in:
Long -term stewardship

Long-term stewardship of the natural resources of Ichauway, including the management and restoration of the full range of natural communities and their component species.

Technical Management Information

Technical management information for the Jones Center and beyond, showcasing Ichauway as an example of sound resource management in the region.

Integration of our research and natural research management

This allows these programs to inform one another, and incorporates diverse activities into a management model that balances multiple values in the context of a deeply-rooted land ethic.

Prescribed Fire

Prescribed fire is the primary land management tool for managing the forest and wildlife resources of Ichauway–it is the constant treatment across all forested areas of the property. Healthy longleaf pine forests depend on frequent fire, making prescribed fire necessary for managing this forest type. In the absence of fire, longleaf pine forests shift to hardwood dominated forests over time. The unique plants and animals found in longleaf pine forests have adapted to frequent fire and depend on it to maintain their preferred habitat structure.

At Ichauway our staff burns approximately sixty percent of our forested acres annually, which results in a two-year fire-return interval or less. We set all fires using ground ignition techniques, primarily from 4-wheel ATV. We conduct prescribed fires throughout the year, depending on resource objectives, and on average, about 35% of our burning occurs during the growing season. This fire regime helps to maintain the structure and function of the natural longleaf pine forest and also maintains lower fuel loading that minimizes the damaging effects of wildfire.

Our prescribed fire program is objective-driven; primary objectives include fuel reduction, wildlife management, burning for research, and longleaf pine ecosystem management and restoration. Smoke management is of special concern for every fire, and proper smoke management planning is an essential part of our prescribed fire program. All areas treated with prescribed fire in a given year receive a post-burn assessment and these data are used to determine whether fire objectives were met and which areas will require specific fire conditions in future burns.

Prescribed fire is the primary land management tool for managing the forest and wildlife resources of Ichauway

Prescribed Fire

Prescribed fire is the primary land management tool for managing the forest and wildlife resources of Ichauway

Prescribed fire is the primary land management tool for managing the forest and wildlife resources of Ichauway–it is the constant treatment across all forested areas of the property. Healthy longleaf pine forests depend on frequent fire, making prescribed fire necessary for managing this forest type. In the absence of fire, longleaf pine forests shift to hardwood dominated forests over time. The unique plants and animals found in longleaf pine forests have adapted to frequent fire and depend on it to maintain their preferred habitat structure.

At Ichauway our staff burns approximately sixty percent of our forested acres annually, which results in a two-year fire-return interval or less. We set all fires using ground ignition techniques, primarily from 4-wheel ATV. We conduct prescribed fires throughout the year, depending on resource objectives, and on average, about 35% of our burning occurs during the growing season. This fire regime helps to maintain the structure and function of the natural longleaf pine forest and also maintains lower fuel loading that minimizes the damaging effects of wildfire.

Our prescribed fire program is objective-driven; primary objectives include fuel reduction, wildlife management, burning for research, and longleaf pine ecosystem management and restoration. Smoke management is of special concern for every fire, and proper smoke management planning is an essential part of our prescribed fire program. All areas treated with prescribed fire in a given year receive a post-burn assessment and these data are used to determine whether fire objectives were met and which areas will require specific fire conditions in future burns.

STAT

Burn approximately 60% of the property annually

image_stat_sub
STAT

Burn
approximately
60% of the property
annually

Forest Resources Management

The Ichauway property has a diversity of habitats and ecosystem types, varying from upland forests dominated by longleaf pine to streamside hammock forests, depressional wetlands, and agricultural fields. The upland longleaf pine forests are the largest land cover type on Ichauway (approximately 18,000 acres). Timber resources are utilized through carefully targeted commercial harvest and (as needed) salvage operations and on-site salvage operation that removes hazard trees near roads and buildings.

The Stoddard-Neel Approach

The forest is managed for multiple age classes using a modification of the Stoddard-Neel approach to forest and wildlife management. Forests are managed over long time scales (no set rotation age), always maintaining some level of canopy cover, and harvests are conservative, with relatively low per acre volumes removed in any harvest entry. An individual tree selection approach is utilized in silvicultural prescriptions. Particular care is taken to minimize wildlife habitat impacts and disturbance of the ground cover community and to maintain the distribution of fine fuels for prescribed fire.

Restoration

Several management tools are utilized in upland areas requiring restoration. Old fields and agricultural areas are planted with longleaf pine, with ground cover plant species introduced once a regular and effective fire regime has been established. Ground cover plants are typically established using direct seeding techniques, with seed collected from native plants on site (e.g., wiregrass and Indian grass) when available in sufficient quantities for operational-scale establishment. Areas with off-site tree species (typically species of semi-deciduous oaks) and/or invasive exotic plant species are managed with a combination of mechanical and chemical treatments.

The upland longleaf pine forests are the largest land cover type on Ichauway (approximately 18,000 acres).

Forest Resources Management

The upland longleaf pine forests are the largest land cover type on Ichauway (approximately 18,000 acres).

The Ichauway property has a diversity of habitats and ecosystem types, varying from upland forests dominated by longleaf pine to streamside hammock forests, depressional wetlands, and agricultural fields. The upland longleaf pine forests are the largest land cover type on Ichauway (approximately 18,000 acres). Timber resources are utilized through carefully targeted commercial harvest and (as needed) salvage operations and on-site salvage operation that removes hazard trees near roads and buildings.

The Stoddard-Neel Approach

The forest is managed for multiple age classes using a modification of the Stoddard-Neel approach to forest and wildlife management. Forests are managed over long time scales (no set rotation age), always maintaining some level of canopy cover, and harvests are conservative, with relatively low per acre volumes removed in any harvest entry. An individual tree selection approach is utilized in silvicultural prescriptions. Particular care is taken to minimize wildlife habitat impacts and disturbance of the ground cover community and to maintain the distribution of fine fuels for prescribed fire.

Restoration

Several management tools are utilized in upland areas requiring restoration. Old fields and agricultural areas are planted with longleaf pine, with ground cover plant species introduced once a regular and effective fire regime has been established. Ground cover plants are typically established using direct seeding techniques, with seed collected from native plants on site (e.g., wiregrass and Indian grass) when available in sufficient quantities for operational-scale establishment. Areas with off-site tree species (typically species of semi-deciduous oaks) and/or invasive exotic plant species are managed with a combination of mechanical and chemical treatments.

Wildlife Management

Wildlife management at Ichauway includes

traditional game management
non-game management
management for endangered, threatened and special concern species

However, the Center’s philosophy towards wildlife management is holistic rather than centered around single species, and management actions are intended to provide benefits to the system as a whole. We manage the Ichauway property in a way that provides quality habitat for the range of species endemic to the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Game Management

Game management at Ichauway focuses on northern bobwhite quail and white-tailed deer. Prescribed fire is an essential component of management for both species, and agricultural fields are maintained to provide specific habitat features and to serve as food plots for wildlife. Field edges or entire fields are maintained in an early successional state, providing benefits for a host of species dependent on this habitat type. Northern bobwhite quail play an important historical, economic, cultural, and ecological role in the longleaf-wiregrass ecosystem of the southeastern United States. The Ichauway property was assembled and historically managed for quail hunting, and in keeping with this historical use, a portion of the property is still conservatively managed to support an adequate wild quail population for hunting. The white-tailed deer management program at Ichauway is designed to maintain deer populations at a level that limits damage to ecological communities, with densities maintained primarily through the harvest of antlerless deer.

We manage the Ichauway property in a way that    provides quality habitat for the range of species endemic to the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Wildlife Management

We manage the Ichauway property in a way that    provides quality habitat for the range of species endemic to the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Wildlife management at Ichauway includes

traditional game management
non-game management
management for endangered, threatened and special concern species

However, the Center’s philosophy towards wildlife management is holistic rather than centered around single species, and management actions are intended to provide benefits to the system as a whole. We manage the Ichauway property in a way that provides quality habitat for the range of species endemic to the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Game Management

Game management at Ichauway focuses on northern bobwhite quail and white-tailed deer. Prescribed fire is an essential component of management for both species, and agricultural fields are maintained to provide specific habitat features and to serve as food plots for wildlife. Field edges or entire fields are maintained in an early successional state, providing benefits for a host of species dependent on this habitat type. Northern bobwhite quail play an important historical, economic, cultural, and ecological role in the longleaf-wiregrass ecosystem of the southeastern United States. The Ichauway property was assembled and historically managed for quail hunting, and in keeping with this historical use, a portion of the property is still conservatively managed to support an adequate wild quail population for hunting. The white-tailed deer management program at Ichauway is designed to maintain deer populations at a level that limits damage to ecological communities, with densities maintained primarily through the harvest of antlerless deer.

Nongame Wildlife Management

Ichauway is host to several wildlife species of conservation concern with approximately 50 endangered, threatened, or special concern species, both plant and animal, found on site. Our nongame wildlife management program focuses on these species. These include the

the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW)
gopher tortoise
fox squirrel
Florida pine snake
gopher frog

The Center’s land management activities support populations of these important species largely through maintenance of an intact, high-quality longleaf pine ecosystem that is maintained with frequent fire. Restoration of the red-cockaded woodpecker is an example of more active management for a particular species and has been a major focus of the Conservation program at the Center. The population has increased from one red-cockaded woodpecker family group in 1999 to over 35 groups today. Red-cockaded woodpecker management activities include frequent prescribed burning, maintenance and installation of cavities, translocation, and restoration of habitat.

Nongame Wildlife Management

Ichauway is host to several wildlife species of conservation concern with approximately 50 endangered, threatened, or special concern species, both plant and animal, found on site. Our nongame wildlife management program focuses on these species. These include the

the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW)
gopher tortoise
fox squirrel
Florida pine snake
gopher frog

The Center’s land management activities support populations of these important species largely through maintenance of an intact, high-quality longleaf pine ecosystem that is maintained with frequent fire. Restoration of the red-cockaded woodpecker is an example of more active management for a particular species and has been a major focus of the Conservation program at the Center. The population has increased from one red-cockaded woodpecker family group in 1999 to over 35 groups today. Red-cockaded woodpecker management activities include frequent prescribed burning, maintenance and installation of cavities, translocation, and restoration of habitat.

Resource Monitoring

Our resource monitoring program focuses on documenting long-term changes and trends in species, communities, and management activities.

 

  • Long-term monitoring data is used in management decision making and scientific research and modeling
  • Wildlife monitoring has been conducted since the establishment of the Jones Center and is carried out on an annual or semi-annual basis.

Example of this long-term monitoring include

thermal image deer surveys
track counts
breeding bird point counts
quail covey counts

Water resources staff conduct long-term aquatic monitoring rivers, streams, and geographically isolated wetlands.

Our forest monitoring program, established in 2001, involves repeated measurements from a series of permanent plots to estimate change in conditions over time. These long-term data are used to quantify existing conditions for each community across the property and are valuable for detecting changes from on-going and historical management activities. Data collected from monitoring activities is shared with scientific research staff and has been used in the development of publications and location of research activities.

Our resource monitoring program focuses on documenting long-term changes and trends in species, communities and management activities.

Resource Monitoring

Our resource monitoring program focuses on documenting long-term changes and trends in species, communities and management activities.

Our resource monitoring program focuses on documenting long-term changes and trends in species, communities, and management activities.

  • Long–term monitoring data is used in management decision making and scientific research and modeling
  • Wildlife monitoring has been conducted since the establishment of the Jones Center and is carried out on an annual or semi–annual basis.

Example of this long-term monitoring include

thermal image deer surveys
track counts
breeding bird point counts
quail covey counts

Water resources staff conduct long-term aquatic monitoring rivers, streams, and geographically isolated wetlands.

Our forest monitoring program, established in 2001, involves repeated measurements from a series of permanent plots to estimate change in conditions over time. These long-term data are used to quantify existing conditions for each community across the property and are valuable for detecting changes from on-going and historical management activities. Data collected from monitoring activities is shared with scientific research staff and has been used in the development of publications and location of research activities.

Ichauway Conservation Fellowship

The Ichauway Conservation Fellowship trains professionals to work in conservation-oriented land management. The program provides practical, hands-on experience in natural resource management and restoration of longleaf pine ecosystems. As a component of this program, Fellows concurrently pursue a non-thesis MS degree in natural resources. Please see our Graduate Student page for more information on this program.

Ichauway Conservation Fellowship

The Ichauway Conservation Fellowship trains professionals to work in conservation-oriented land management. The program provides practical, hands-on experience in natural resource management and restoration of longleaf pine ecosystems. As a component of this program, Fellows concurrently pursue a non-thesis MS degree in natural resources. Please see our Graduate Student page for more information on this program.

Conservation Fellow Spotlight

research support

An important aspect of the Conservation Program is the support of Jones Center research activities and maintenance of the Center’s facilities, equipment, and grounds. The Conservation program provides both technical and practical assistance to the research program of the Jones Center. In particular, the Conservation group coordinates site-use requests and helps to locate projects in appropriate site conditions, maintains and repairs complex scientific equipment, constructs research-related facilities, provides practical resource management (especially prescribed fire) activities for projects, and contributes co-investigators for applied research projects.

research support

An important aspect of the Conservation Program is the support of Jones Center research activities and maintenance of the Center’s facilities, equipment, and grounds. The Conservation program provides both technical and practical assistance to the research program of the Jones Center. In particular, the Conservation group coordinates site-use requests and helps to locate projects in appropriate site conditions, maintains and repairs complex scientific equipment, constructs research-related facilities, provides practical resource management (especially prescribed fire) activities for projects, and contributes co-investigators for applied research projects.

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