Florida’s Ranches Play a Significant Role in Combatting the Threats from the Warming Climate

Excerpt from: https://floridaconserve.org/2021/04/16/floridas-ranches-play-a-significant-role-in-combatting-the-threats-from-the-warming-climate/

I consider myself blessed to live and work as a rancher in Florida. As a caretaker of the land, I have both the privilege and the obligation to protect the habitat and wildlife on our ranchlands.

Florida ranches are part of the solution to protect Florida’s environment. Ranchers engage in conservation practices that maintain grasslands, healthy soils, and healthy watersheds. These practices also have a role in combating the effects of climate change.

Rotational grazing, maintaining appropriate cattle herd sizes and managing for native habitat reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon. Cattle ranching in Florida protects the environment, maintains rural landscapes, and supports the Florida agricultural economy.

But Florida ranches are in danger of being lost as Florida grows by about 300,000 people a year. This growth results in the conversion of thousands of acres of ranches every year.

So, managing ranches for greater conservation and environmental benefits is important, but offering incentives to protect ranches from land conversion is essential as well. Once these ranchlands are converted to subdivisions and shopping malls, we forever lose the environmental values they provide.

Ranchers are committed to protecting Florida’s wildlife and water while also helping to address climate change. Many ranchers are working with conservation groups and state and federal government to restore wetlands, provide wildlife habitat and corridors, and to help sequester carbon in both wetland soils and grasslands.

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