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Tall Timbers Hopes To Improve Habitat In St. Marks, Aucilla River Watershed By Partnering With Private Landowners

Pictured here is the St. Marks River.
Ruth P. Peterkin
Adobe Stock
Private landowners on St. Marks and Aucilla River watersheds can get reimbursed for making habitat improvements to their property. The money is being given out by Tall Timbers, a research and land conservancy group.

Tall Timbers wants to partner with private landowners to improve habitat in St. Marks and Aucilla River watersheds. The research and land conservancy group is offering reimbursements up to 75% for those who participate. Peter Kleinhenz works for Tall Timbers. He says providing this incentive helps everyone.

"Let's say there's an invasive plant infestation that's along the side of the road. Well, we can spray that and control for that as much as we want, but if that adjacent landowner isn't also doing that, the invasives are going to continue to invade. So, again, it takes all of us working in tandem to chip away at these problems," Kleinhenz says.

Tall Timbers received more than $7 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From that pot, more than $500,000 will go towards reimbursing private landowners who do certain activities. That includes prescribed burns, getting rid of invasive plants, and planting longleaf pine trees.

"All things that are going to benefit again, wildlife habitat and water quality and this region," Kleinhenz says.

Kleinhenz says it's the first time Tall Timbers is offering this kind of financial assistance. The deadline to apply for reimbursement is September 1. Those interested in learning more can contact Tall Timbers.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.