Public use that is compatible with natural and cultural resource protection is a priority at the Buffer Preserve along with promoting and encouraging visitors to view the preserve as a unique wilderness area with a high degree of aesthetic and natural value that is worth protecting through active stewardship. The Buffer Preserve is managed under the single use concept of natural systems management.
Invasive non-native plant species in the Buffer Preserve are a continual management issue and at present are largely confined to the southern boundary of the preserve in residentially developed areas. The following species have been treated as part of the Buffer Preserve's invasive plant management program: camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora), cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica), Japanese climbing fern (Lygodium japonicum), torpedo grass (Panicum repens), and Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera).
Florida has lost more than 50 percent (9 million acres) of its natural wetlands in the past 200 years. Most of this loss may be attributed to wetland drainage and filling. The natural flow of water across a landscape of natural wetlands is critical to the quality of water finding its way into our rivers, bays, and oceans.
The natural systems that occur on Buffer Preserve lands form a complex mosaic of natural communities that are not managed independently of each other. Most natural communities that occur on the Buffer Preserve are fire dependent or fire-adapted. The preserve's fire dependent communities include sandhill, scrub, scrubby flatwoods, mesic flatwoods, wet flatwoods, and wet prairie. The frequent application of prescribed fire is the single most important and cost-effective management tool used to benefit listed species and promote biodiversity in those communities.
The lands and waters that make up the Buffer Preserve have a rich history of human occupation. To adequately assess and interpret the full range of cultural resources, the preserve facilitates and conducts research to serve as a foundation for developing a comprehensive cultural resources management plan starting with a detailed assessment of the location and description of these resources. As the Buffer Preserve's archaeological surveys and artifact collection inventory progresses, this information is incorporated into its education and outreach programs.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.