Ephemeral Wetlands Management Workshops in Florida and North Carolina Restoration and Fire in Ephemeral Wetlands

Dennis David, National Wildlife Refuge Association; Chuck Hunter, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Duke Rankin, US
Southeastern Partners in Plant Conservation 2020 Conference Abstracts – 38 –
Forest Service; Joanne Baggs, US FS; Carrie Sekerak, US FS; Jeff Hall, NC Wildlife Resources Div.; Pierson Hill,
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Com.; Greg Titus, FWS; Amy Jenkins, FL Natural Areas Inventory; Lesley
Starke, NC Plant Conservation Program; Jeff Beane, NC State Museum of Natural Sciences; Andy Walker, Croatan &
Uwharries National Forest; Megan Keserauskis, FW; John Dunlap, FS; Jorge Guevara, FS; Janna Mott, The Nature
Conservancy of FL; Jeff Marcus, TNC of NC; Thomas Crate, NC State Parks; Chris Jordan, NC Wildlife Resources
Commission; Jennifer Fawcett, Prescribed Fire Work Group at NCSU, Vernon Compton, Longleaf Alliance, John
Matthews, FS; Dan Frisk, FWS; Chris Petersen, DOD Navy; Jeff Talbert, Atlanta Botanical Garden at Deer Lake;
Jennifer Ceska, GA Plant Conservation Alliance; Jenny Cruse-Sanders, State Botanical Garden of GA; Carrie
Radcliffe, Atlanta Botanical Garden

During the At-Risk Workshop series 2015 to 2016, an interagency status review identified habitat degradation caused by
fire exclusion as the primary reason for decline of more than 114 Southeastern wetland species now trending towards
Federal listing; this critical disturbance regime has also been recognized as essential for the recovery of Federally
Threatened and Endangered wetland-dependent guilds of taxa. In 2019, two workshops funded jointly by the US Fishjo
and Wildlife Service and the US Forest Service and coordinated by the National Wildlife Refuge Association were held,
with the main objective of strategizing getting more fire into isolated ephemeral wetlands to help at-risk species. Over
130 conservation professionals from more than 40 agencies and organizations from the SE US contributed knowledge
of tools and restoration techniques used to manage ephemeral wetlands. Local subject matter experts, biologists, fire
practitioners, ecologists and land managers convened to discuss and share best restoration and management practices for
ephemeral wetlands to address at-risk species management (plant and animal) with a focus in the longleaf ecosystem in
the Coastal Plain. Carrie Sekerak, Deputy District Ranger, Ocala National Forest will present on the state of these
isolated wetlands, the current issues in isolated wetland management, and a snapshot of best practices being applied.