FWC honors landowner for restoring and conserving 600 acres of private land
At its meeting Wednesday in Tallahassee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) honored Bob Jenkins as the 2020 Florida Land Steward Landowner of the Year.
Jenkins is the owner and manager of Jenkins Millview Trace, a 600-acre tract of land in western Escambia County. A lifelong land steward, Jenkins has made great strides in restoring his family's forest property, making it an exceptional location for wildlife, education and outdoor recreation.
“Private working lands are vital to Florida’s wildlife, and no one knows these properties like the landowners who manage them,” said Jennifer Goff, director of the FWC’s Office of Conservation Planning Services. “Without dedicated landowners like Mr. Jenkins, we wouldn’t have the natural resources that make Florida such a special place. We are truly grateful for his efforts.”
Jenkins has a long-term plan of harvesting slash pine on the property and replacing them with longleaf pine, the native species that originally thrived in the area and once provided important wildlife habitat. So far, more than 300,000 longleaf pines have been planted on the property.
Most of the forestry work is done solely by Jenkins and his forester, including long-term planning, site preparation, establishing food plots, conducting prescribed burns, planting seedlings and removing invasive plant species.
The property has become home to an abundance of wildlife including deer, turkey, dove, rabbits, raccoons, opossums and wood ducks.
Jenkins has opened his property to other landowners to help them learn different management techniques and to share with them the value of longleaf pines. He has also provided opportunities for youth to learn about installing food plots and to enjoy safe hunting experiences on the property.
“To the other landowners, you can do it. Get in there and get your hands dirty,” said Jenkins. “Nature is on your side.”
The Florida Land Steward is a partnership that shares resources available to private landowners conserving their lands for wildlife, with partners that include the FWC, Florida Forest Service, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Learn how the FWC partners with private landowners at MyFWC.com/LAP. Find out about workshops and other resources for private landowners at FloridaLandSteward.org.
Contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459