There are five Florida scrub ecosystem working groups, with members from county, state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations, as well as consultants and private landowners. To join a working group, click the subscribe panel to the right. People interested in joining the Lake Wales group must do so through their website. Some speakers have shared their presentations to working groups and these slides are available for download on our presentations page. For meeting minutes choose the working group in your region:
Brooksville Ridge Working Group (yellow)
Why do we need scrub working groups?
Florida scrub is an imperiled ecosystem, with over 60% of its original area lost. This ecosytem is home to many endemic species that are found nowhere else, and like the ecosystem they live in, many of these species are Threatened or Endangered. Managing scrub and the many species it contains is challenging and the working groups are an excellent forum for addressing conservation planning, habitat restoration and management, monitoring, and research. The working groups allow stakeholders to come together to share information and experiences, establish partnerships and collaborations, and address conservation issues at landscape and regional scales.
A brief history of the working groups
The Lake Wales Ridge Scrub Ecosystem Working Group was established in 1991. In 2006, The South East Florida Scrub Ecosystem Working Group was modeled after it. Between 2007-2008 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Statewide Florida Scrub-Jay Conservation Coordinator, Adam Kent, helped start the North East, South West, and West Central (now the Brooksville Ridge) Working Groups.
Working group successes
Working groups meet between one and three times a year. Attendance at these meetings averages between 20 and 50 members. Over the years the working groups have developed ideas that have spun-off into independent, successful programs including Ridge Rangers, Jay Watch, and the Florida Scrub-Jay Festival. Addionally, working groups have hosted several successful land management field trips.