Title: Drought May Help Wetland
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00000779/00001
 Material Information
Title: Drought May Help Wetland
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: U.S. Water News
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: U.S. Water News Article November, 1986
General Note: Box 7, Folder 2 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 55
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00000779
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

november, 1986

At Okefenokee Swan

VALDOSTA, Ga. Common s
would tell you that a drought on
scale of what plagued the south
this year might do considerable d
age to a freshwater swamp. This
isn't true, however, say manager
the vast 396,000-acre Okefen
S Swamp just east of here.
The recent drought has low
water levels of the swamp and
set the stage for a major fire. Su
burn, according to federal office
would do wonders for the swam
rejuvenating the area's unique
"It's a fire-dependent ecosyst4
said Don Voros, who is assis
:manager of the Okefenokee re
for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
vice. "Without fires, it will just
come a cypress forest again," V
Okefenokee is an Indian wor

1p, Ga.

Drought may help wetland
sense "land of the trembling earth." This vival, experts say.
the describes the way thick peat deposits "Until they built the d
east make the floor of the swamp so un- could expect a major fire to
lam- stable that the ground actually swamp every 25 years or
just shakes when one walks across one Voros. He pointed out that a
rs of Okefenokee's many house-sized of the recent drought, water
okee islands. Ecologists say the swamp ac- Okefenokee are as low as t
tually was created during periods of prior the last big fire in 11
ered severe drought, when fire burned out could set the stage for anoth
has the top layer of peat and vegetation, burning of the swamp, he s.
ch a Knowledge of how Okefenokee is
ials, dependent upon periodic fires is a
p fairly recent development in its
eco- management. After lightning-
caused fires destroyed about 80 per.
em," cent of the swamp in the mid-1950s.
tant a dam was built to keep swamp wa-
fuge ter from draining into the Suwannee
Ser- River. The dam maintains swamp
tbe- water levels and keeps the vegeta-
roros tion moist, warding off the possibil-
ity of fires. But this goes against the
I for natural system of the swamp's sur-

lam, you
burn the
so," said
s a result
levels in
hey were
)54. This
ler major

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