Mission statement: To manage, in perpetuity, the county's conservation, environmentally sensitive and important water resource lands using a program of professionally accepted principles of resource and ecosystem management for the benefit of, and enjoyment by, present and future generations.
The Land Management activity is responsible for the management, enhancement and restoration of approximately 38,000 acres in Volusia County. Much of the acreage has been acquired through two Volusia County voter approved acquisition programs. The 1986 Endangered Lands program was involved in the purchase of more than 17,000 acres of important conservation lands. The award winning Volusia Forever program was approved by citizens of Volusia County in 2000 and has participated in the acquisition of more than 38,000 additional acres.
These lands have been acquired for conservation purposes, but compatible passive recreation such as hiking, biking, horseback riding and primitive camping is allowed on most properties. Special permits are required for some activities.
Historically, nature provided all the tools needed to maintain healthy habitats. With the advent of fire suppression, fragmentation due to development (roads, powerlines, cities, etc.), past forestry practices, exotic species and user impacts natural lands are rarely as resilient as they were in the past. Most of the remaining habitats are overgrown with a complete canopy of trees and a dense understory of shrubs. An abundance of trees and shrubs have replaced natural grasses and herbs as the major component of the understory. Loss of habitat quality and quantity has dramatically affected the naturally occurring animal species. Human intervention (management) is now needed to provide the factors necessary for a healthy forest. Learn more about the living forest and how the County controls forest fires.
The County Council approved a formal set of land management and conservation goals and objectives which can be found in Resolution 2003-80. This resolution provides staff guidance on management, restoration and public use. In addition the County Council in 2006 approved Chapter 82, Article III, Volusia County Code of Ordinances which details allowances, prohibitions and permitting for the public use of Conservation Lands.