Robert L. Crawford. Tall Timbers Research Station, 1974. 27 p. (Photocopy)
The conserved lands of the Greater Red Hills region are found on working, income-producing properties that support agriculture, forestry, and recreational hunting. These properties contribute $272 million annually to local economies and support 2,300 jobs. [link to Planning & Advocacy section] The landowners’ strong stewardship ethic preserves their working lands while replenishing drinking water supplies, protecting water quality, and providing wildlife habitat for dozens of rare and endangered species. Tall Timbers’ conservation easements on these working properties encourage landowners to retain their traditional livelihood by keeping farms in family ownership.
Home to world-class wild quail populations, the Greater Red Hills region contains the largest concentration of gamebird preserves in the United States. These preserves also support the largest community of Red-cockaded woodpeckers on private lands. Indicators of high quality habitat found here include the gopher tortoise, Bachman’s sparrow, fox squirrel, and many amphibians. Tall Timbers’ conservation easements identify and protect the critical habitats of these species.
The region also boasts outstanding aquatic resources. Large river systems, like the Flint/Apalachicola, Ochlockonee, and Aucilla, flow from Georgia and feed into the Gulf of Mexico to support some of the world’s most productive estuaries. Large disappearing sinkhole lakes, like Iamonia, Miccosukee, and Jackson, provide habitat for an array of aquatic species and migratory birds. Tall Timbers’ conservation easements protect these vital watersheds and wetlands that are the lifeblood for the ecological health of the region.
Once dominated by longleaf pine, our pine woodlands support abundant wildlife and local economies. These forests need prescribed fire to stay healthy. Herbert L. Stoddard and his associates Ed and Roy Komarek were pioneers in this emerging scientific field during the mid-20th century. Tall Timbers continues that legacy with applied research on prescribed fire and land management. Today, there is a tremendous need to expand prescribed fire use beyond the Red Hills to ensure ecosystem health and reduce wildfire risk. Additionally, Tall Timbers uses conservation easements to permanently protect private woodlands while balancing the need for economic return from selective timbering.