Ridge Rangers January 2014 Newsletter

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Ridge Rangers Newsletter

Ridge Rangers at Work

January 2014

January Ridge Ranger Events

Everyone is welcome to participate in Ridge Rangers events. Please click on the links for the full details and to register.

Month View

See a monthly calendar view of Ridge Ranger events

Every Monday: Learn about and help grow native plants for habitat restoration in the DEP Homeland Nursery (near Bartow). Contact Charles Cook.

Every Tuesday: Learn about and help grow native plants for habitat restoration in the FWC Royce Unit Nursery (near Lake Placid). Contact Bill Parken.

Help Restore Native Scrub Habitat for Scrub Jays at Avon Park Air Force Range. We'll be cutting down sand pine, slash pine, wax myrtle, and other overgrown shrubs and trees to improve scrub-jay habitat. Near Avon Park. Two dates: Saturday, January 4 and Saturday, January 25

Wednesday, January 8: Winter Meeting of the Lake Wales Ridge Ecosystem Working Group.  Theme: Stingers, Biters and Bears, Oh My! Close Encounters in the Wild. At Highlands Hammock State Park, near Sebring. All Ridge Rangers and members of the general public welcome. Please register at https://lwrewgjan8.eventbrite.com

Saturday, January 11: Remove invasive plants from a habitat conservation area at Bok Tower Gardens. You’ll learn all about how to identify and eliminate specific exotic plants. Near Lake Wales.

Friday, January 17 and Saturday, January 18: Remove small trees to increase scrub jay nesting areas at Lake June Scrub State Park. We'll be cutting small sand pines and scrub oaks that have been burned by a recent prescribed fire to increase open spaces for the near-by Scrub-Jay nesting areas. Near Lake Placid.

See the full schedule on the Ridge Rangers Online Calendar.

Reference Links

Ridge Rangers Home Page: http://www.myfwc.com/ridgerangers

See where Ridge Rangers help

For Land Managers: Workday Request Form

Would you like to find out about the Ridge Rangers program, including how to participate? Send an email to the Ridge Rangers Coordinator

The Ridge Rangers Online Calendar has our schedule of upcoming volunteer events.

For Ridge Rangers working independently: find out how to report your hours at this link

Would you like to make a donation to help support Ridge Ranger workdays? See Ridge Rangers 501 (c)(3) Fund

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In this issue ...

Back to the Peace River in December

Ridge Rangers on the Peace River

On December 14, Ridge Rangers went back to the Upper Peace River Conservation Area near Bartow and located, cut down or girdled, and then herbicided over 180 invasive Chinese Tallow Trees! This was the third time back for this effort, but the first time Ridge Rangers saw water in the Peace River!

Ridge Ranger efforts on the Upper Peace River Conservation Area started in April 2012, and to-date have resulted in the elimination of over 650 Chinese Tallow Trees!


Ridge Ranger Roger Bergere uses a GPS to mark a location

Ridge Ranger Roger Bergere heads to the next spot after using a GPS to mark the location of a Chinese Tallow tree that has been cut down and herbicided.



General News

Ridge Rangers Plant Acorns

At the FWC Royce Unit on December 17: In just two hours nine Ridge Rangers and four staff from FWC and the Forest Service planted over 8,000 acorns!!

This effort was part of Project Acorn, a multi-year effort to restore damaged scrub habitat on the Lake Wales Ridge.


Necia Godzisz

Ridge Rangers may be interested in participating in FWC’s SW Region Volunteer events, led by FWC’s Necia Godzisz.  Events coming up in January include scoping burrows for invasive Tegu Lizards (near Wimauma), and removing invasive plants at FWC’s Osprey Unit (near Haines City). See the SW Region Volunteer Calendar.


Debbie Stone

TNC’s Debi Stone is requesting help in January surveying for invasive plants at the Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve, near Poinciana. Debi notes that “you’ll be seeing the most pristine and gorgeous parts of the preserve, areas rarely visited by humans.” Contact: debi.stone@tnc.org


Ridge Rangers Logo

Thanks to donations, Ridge Rangers T-Shirts are coming! The shirts are tough and durable and intended to protect the wearer from the sun and brush, while still being cool enough to wear in hot temperatures. Ridge Rangers who’ve contributed 25 hours or more to the program in the last year will be eligible.

Funding for this gear comes from the Ridge Rangers 501(c)(3) account, which has raised money by generous and very appreciated donations by Ridge Rangers as well as by recycling old metal dumped on conservation land.


Ridge Rangers working independently are reminded to get their hours submitted for 2013. See Report Your Hours.

 If you’d like a report of your 2013 Ridge Rangers hours, please contact the Ridge Rangers Coordinator.