FWC recognizes Helen Roth, Florida Land Steward Landowner of the Year
Media contact: Diane Hirth, 850-410-5291; Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459
Helen Roth, a Gadsden County landowner, is the 2015 Florida Land Steward Landowner of the Year. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recognized her Feb. 11 for the honor bestowed on her by the Florida Land Steward partnership and for her dedicated work as a private landowner conserving Florida wildlife and habitat.
Roth has wielded a chainsaw to clear hardwoods, conducted prescribed fires and restored young longleaf pines on her 100 acres. She worked with the FWC’s Landowner Assistance Program and other Florida Land Steward agencies to learn how to manage her land for wildlife. She experiences the rewards of her efforts as fox squirrels, gopher tortoises, wiregrass and wildflowers thrive on her restored longleaf pine habitat.
“Private landowners are important guardians and unsung heroes of wildlife habitat in Florida,” said FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski. “The FWC and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services work in partnership with private landowners to support their efforts to maintain rural lands. These lands provide critical habitat and corridors for wildlife whether they are used for ranching, farming and forestry or kept wild.”
Florida Land Steward is a partnership created to share the resources available to private landowners conserving their lands for long-term environmental, economic and social benefits.
The FWC and the FDACS’ Florida Forest Service are key leaders of this partnership, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Florida. Workshops and best management practices are among the many resources for private landowners posted at FloridaLandSteward.org.
“Helen Roth has done an outstanding job of restoring Florida wildlife habitat,” said Scott Sanders, director of the FWC’s Office of Conservation Planning Services. “She is an inspiring landowner who actively shares her knowledge and experience with other landowners.”
Learn more about the FWC’s Landowner Assistance Program and how the FWC partners with private landowners at MyFlorida.com/LAP.