The Value of Private Non-Industrial Forestland for Wildlife Species Conservation

Gopher tortoise on a sandy road

Animals in Florida provide a variety of benefits to people, from recreation (fishing, hunting, or wildlife viewing) to protection of human life and property (oysters and corals provide reef structures that help protect coasts from erosion and flooding). By measuring the economic value of these benefits, we can assign a monetary value to the habitats that sustain these species and assess the value that is lost when development or other human-based activities degrade animal habitat. This 5-page fact sheet written by Shelly Johnson, Timm Kroeger, Josh Horn, Alison E. Adams, and Damian C. Adams and published by the School of Forest Resources and Conservation presents the results of a study that assessed the value of protecting five animal species in Florida and showed the economic value of protecting animal habitat.

Timber Production in a Working Forest Context

Florida forests

Working forests are private forests managed not just for timber production but also for a host of valuable ecosystem services like providing for recreation, maintaining habitat for wildlife, and maintaining a healthy watershed. Timber production is an essential ecosystem good or service that supports a number of important industries and provides jobs in Florida. This 6-page fact sheet summarizes the results of several studies to help forest landowners and other stakeholders understand how multiple-use management affects both timber production and other ecosystem services.

Carbon Stocks on Forest Stewardship Program and Adjacent Lands

Pine trees in a forest

Nonindustrial private forestlands in Florida provide many environmental benefits, or ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are benefits from nature that are directly enjoyed, consumed, or used by humans, such as water quality improvement or protection, recreation, biodiversity, and even timber. Another benefit from forests that is gaining interest is their ability to store carbon through the photosynthetic capture of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, in tree, plant, and soil biomass. The carbon dioxide that is stored over the life of a forest, called carbon stocks, is not only important for mitigating greenhouse gas contributions to climate change, but it can also be valued in several markets and incorporated into environmental policy instruments. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Nilesh Timilsina, Francisco J. Escobedo, Alison E. Adams, and Damian C. Adams and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation April 2017.

Stewardship Ecosystem Services Study Series: Assessing Forest Water Yield and Purification Ecosystem Services in the Lower Suwannee River Watershed, Florida

Figure 1. Land use and covers in the Lower Suwannee River Watershed, Florida.Land-use decisions and ecosystem characteristics affect the amounts of nutrients that end up in water bodies and the ability of the land to provide ecosystem services. Water quality is also highly valued by Florida forest landowners and managers. So, understanding the role of land use and forest cover and types, management practices, and conservation programs in reducing nutrient pollution will allow landowners, forest managers, and policy makers to make informed and better management decisions. In this 6-page fact sheet, we present the results of a study that used easily available models and information to assess the role of forests in providing ecosystem services, including water quality improvement or purification. Specifically, this assessment used available geospatial data and the InVEST Water Purification model to estimate how forest vegetation and soils purify water through the retention, and subsequent export, of nitrogen and phosphorus polluted runoff. Written by Sonia Delphin, Francisco J. Escobedo, Amr Abd-Elrahman, Alison E. Adams, Jackie Martin, Ronald Cademus, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, January 2014.

Public Land Management Agencies’ and Nonindustrial Private Forest Landowners’ Perceptions towards Ecosystem Services

Figure 1. Location of Public and Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) Forests in Florida.The state of Florida has more than 16 million acres of forestland. From clean air to pulp for paper to aesthetic landscapes, humans benefit from private and public forests in many different ways. However, small private landowners and public land management agencies manage the majority of this land, and it is up to these people to decide how society will benefit from those forests. This paper uses the concept of ecosystem services to explore the reasons why public land management agencies and private landowners manage their forests. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Taylor Stein, Namyun Kil, Alexis Frank, Alison E. Adams, Damian C. Adams, and Francisco J. Escobedo, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, July 2013.