We only have 6 staff members these days, but lots has been happening.
Black Bears and Birds -- Vic Doig attended the Black Bear Working Group meeting. Vic also is continuing with quail and nesting bird counts.
Fire is a big issue. Vic recently led a Fire Refresher course for Tall Timbers and University of Florida fire teams. The Refuges continue in Fire Severity code and are setting record dryness records. Refuge Forester Daniel Barrand is at Okefenokee NWR assisting with forestry planning on the wildfire at that refuge.
Roads -- Jason Coates is leading a road maintenance effort on the Dixie Mainline and continues to lead volunteers in Dixie on numerous projects.
Research -- Refuge staff members are working with the University of Florida and others on a proposal for an 8-year research and monitoring project to be potentially funded by Gulf Spill monies.
Cooperation -- The Refuge hosted staff members from several other regional National Wildlife Refuges for a workforce planning meeting and the Annual Hunt Meeting.
Suwannee River Water Management District -- Refuge Manage Andrew Gude and Friends President Russ Hall welcomed the Board and Staff of the Suwannee River Water Management District to Cedar Keys NWR and the town of Cedar Key. Friends thanked the Board and staff for their many years of partnership with the Refuges leading to acquisition of lands and improved management of public areas. Much to the regret of all potential participants, the gusty winds on May 4th and 5th precluded the planned boat tour of the Cedar Keys Refuge islands.
Paddling Project -- Nature Coast Biological Station has funded a summer intern at the Refuge. He will add to the self-guided paddling project that Friends initiated and provide views of the Refuges from the water for recreational paddling and kayak fishing enthusiasts.
Seahorse Key -- Cedar Keys NWR has temporarily opened the seasonally closed waters around Seahorse Key, given there are no nesting birds to protect.
Forest to Sea Tour -- Refuge staff members participated in the tour highlighting the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which is advancing the Lower Suwannee and Gulf Watershed Project. Other participants were from: