Nature Coast Forests

Nature Coast Forests Not an official page and posts not endorsed by the Florida Forest Service. This is an unofficial page of Florida Forest Service's Withlacoochee State Forest Resource Section.

Resources is comprised of the Silviculture Unit and the Ecology Unit. The Silviculture Unit manages the timber on the forest, including timber sales, forest inventory, salvage sales, reforestation, site preparation, and competition control. The Ecology Unit controls exotic invasive plants, manages threatened and endangered species, conducts rare plant surveys, protects unique geological features, and monitors historical sites on the forest. Both units assist Fire Control with prescribed burning on the state forest.

Operating as usual



Here's to an abiding New Year.
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Southern Group of State Foresters

The protection of our southern forests from wildfires, invasive plants and pests, and mismanagement of the land depends on passionate pros like Patricia of Georgia Forestry Commission, Don of Texas A&M Forest Service and Heather of Tennessee Department of Agriculture's Division of Forestry. Watching this video, we imagine you'll feel grateful for their relentless commitment. #PeopleofForestry

Mississippi Forestry Commission

Stop Wildfires at the Starting Line. Don't burn on windy days, during drought conditions, or when burn bans are in place. To see if your county is under a burn ban, visit:

2017 Wildfire Prevention PSA featuring World's Fastest Woman Tori Bowie (2017 IAAF World Champion and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist). Paid for by a grant from the USDA Forest Service.

#WildfirePrevention #Mississippi

Archbold Biological Station

FL scrub jays are in Seminole SF and Withlacoochee SF.

Acorn Gardeners

Florida Scrub-Jays bury thousands of acorns each fall to ensure a dependable food supply during winter.

Archbold Avian Ecology research reveals this story is more complicated especially because cached acorns are critical to survival.

According to Dr. Reed Bowman, Archbold Avian Ecology Program Director, jays prefer to cache red oak over white oak acorns because they have more tannins, which increase their ‘shelf life’. Jays return to their caches for quality control throughout the winter. They discard bad acorns (e.g., rotten), eat those that are just beginning to go bad, and re-cache the good ones in a new, drier site to ensure the acorn will still be good to eat in a month or two. Jays also are aware of who is watching when they bury acorns. If it is an older, dominant jay, they become secretive, flying farther to bury acorns out of sight of potential thieves.

Some of this work was published by two previous interns in the Archbold Avian Ecology Program, Matt Toomey and Ipek Kulahci (links below).

Video by Into Nature Films in collaboration with Archbold Biological Station features a banded Florida Scrub-Jay in Archbold's fire maintained #FloridaScrub harvesting a Sand Live Oak (Quercus geminata) acorn (white oak). #ScrubLife #FloridaScrubJay

Florida Forestry Association's (FFA) page. Working Forest Week.

Florida Forestry Association's (FFA) page. Working Forest Week.
Forest Health & Invasive Species Outreach & Education Program - FHIS

Many in the southeastern U.S. have been impacted by the recent hurricanes. If your forestland experienced damage from any of the storms, this may impact your taxes (meaning you might get deductions!). This website has all the latest and greatest timber tax info. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact your local extension agent.

Forest Landowners Association National Woodland Owners Association Florida Forestry Association Georgia Forestry Association Forestry Association of South Carolina Alabama Forestry Association Southwest Mississippi Forestry Association Mississippi Forestry Association Louisiana Forestry Association Texas Forestry Association Oklahoma Forestry Association Arkansas Forestry Association/AFA Education Foundation Kentucky Forest Industries Association Virginia Forestry Association West Virginia Forestry Association, Inc. North Carolina Forestry Association

Meet our Withlacoochee Forestry District County Foresters.
They are here to help you.
County Foresters provide technical assistance to many people;
*They help private forest landowners meet their goals through implementation of sustainable forestry principles on their lands.
*They also help homeowners with questions on yard tree planting and care, including pest and disease diagnosis.
*You can also find them giving educational presentations in our local schools and for civic organizations.
If you need help in any of these areas contact your local County Forester.

Endangered deer survive Irma
While assisting with relief efforts for Keys residents impacted by Hurricane Irma, I was lucky enough to see some endangered Key deer! It was inspiring to see several of these small deer in No Name Key despite the devastation caused by Irma. While we usually tell people to leave wildlife alone, with the support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we are now encouraging the public to put out shallow containers of fresh water because there are high levels of salinity in the normally fresh water areas. Fresh water is still limited in this area but if you have water resources to share, please change the water frequently and place away from roads and residences. With statewide recovery efforts still underway, we are active in the Keys to assist with recovery; distributing water; helping clear debris; providing security; and assisting local partners, first responders, and the community in any way we can. – Carol Lyn Parrish, South Region Public Information Coordinator

Watch our Facebook live stream as we covered some of our Irma relief efforts in the Keys:

Learn more about Key deer:

More Key deer photos:

Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS Southeast Region


This year is the most expensive firefighting season on record for the Forest Service. As wildfires grow in size and intensity, the funds to fight them are taken from an unlikely source: prevention. Here's how that can lead to more big fires. From Oregon Public Broadcasting- OPB

We have received a lot of questions about why it takes so long for the Withlacoochee River to rise since Hurricane #Irma is long gone. Hopefully this map will help explain.

Water from the Withlacoochee River is fed by an area referred to as the Green Swamp. This area of land covers about 870 square miles in central Florida. It stretches across parts of Pasco, Polk, Hernando and Sumter counties. The Green Swamp has the ability to store surface water and slow the flow of floodwaters. Because of this, it takes days for rain water that fell in the Green Swamp to flow northward along the Withlacoochee River. It will take about 2-3 weeks for that flood wave from Irma to travel the entire 160 miles of the river, from the Green Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Enrichment Center, located at 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd. in Brooksville, remains open as a Red Cross shelter for Withlacoochee River-area evacuees. Food and water will be provided.

Hognose snakes, like these eastern hognoses, will play dead as a defense mechanism. This behavior is known as “death feigning.” It's rare in other snake species, but both the southern and eastern hognose will hiss, spread their necks, gape and roll over and play dead when disturbed. If a hognose is further disturbed, it will flip on its back and convulse for a short period and may defecate and regurgitate its food. It will remain motionless with its belly up, mouth open, and tongue out, playing dead for several minutes before cautiously turning over and looking around to see if it's safe before leaving the area.

Photo by Kevin Enge/FWC

In FL, the Eastern Tent, Forest Tent, & Fall Web Worm are important forestry caterpillars.

In FL, the Eastern Tent, Forest Tent, & Fall Web Worm are important forestry caterpillars.

Been seeing quite a few yellow-necked caterpillars feeding on oaks. Typically these defoliators don't require treatment in the forest setting.

#foresthealth Southern Regional Extension Forestry Forest Health & Invasive Species Outreach & Education Program - FHIS

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15019 Broad St
Brooksville, FL

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