January 23, 2014

The Remarkable Life of a Dead Tree

Speaker: Jim Stevenson

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Social at 7:00 p.m.
Program at 7:30 p.m.
Historic Amtrak Station, 918 Railroad Avenue

Jim Stevenson

Jim Stevenson

More than 25 bird species of birds found in Florida require cavities or holes in trees as nesting sites. The species range from the diminutive Brown-headed Nuthatch to the imposing Turkey Vulture, and what these birds are looking for may be a large fallen log in the very last stages of decay or a tree that was recently killed and is still standing tall.

Many cavity-nesting species of birds are declining as a result of declines in the number of dead trees (also called “snags”) available. Once killed, a tree may take 25 years or more before it deteriorates to nothing, and, at each stage of decay, there are species that might make use of the structure. Jim Stevenson will be talking about cavity-nesting birds and the importance of dead trees in a range of landscapes.

Jim Stevenson served as Chief Biologist for the Florida State Park System for 20 years during which time he developed the educational and the land management programs for the state park system.

He was Chairman of the Florida Springs Task Force that developed a protection strategy for Florida’s springs and he was Director of the Governor’s Florida Springs Protection Initiative that implements springs protection projects.  Jim retired in 2003, after 38 years with the Department of Environmental Protection.

Jim coordinated the Wakulla Spring Basin and the Ichetucknee Springs Basin Working Groups for 18 years.  He serves on the boards of the Wakulla Springs Alliance and the Florida Springs Institute.

In recognition of his dedication to the protection of Florida’s springs, the State of Florida named a large spring on the Suwannee River “Stevenson Spring” in his honor.

And for his longstanding stewardship of Florida’s public lands, the Governor and Cabinet dedicated the “Jim Stevenson Resource Manager of the Year Award” that is given annually to the most deserving state land managers in the Department of Environmental Protection, the Division of Forestry and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.