Treeware is the personal website for Charlie Houder, a forester living in Gainesville, Florida. Charlie has worked in natural resource assessment and management for over 40 years in both the public and private sectors. His experience extends across the southeastern United States, focused primarily in northeast Florida.
Since 2017, Charlie has been director of Alachua County’s Department of Parks and Conservation Lands. There he oversees the maintenance of the County’s two dozen parks as well as the management of 14,000 acres of nature preserves. The Department also implements the Alachua County Forever program to acquire, improve, and manage environmentally significant lands that protect water resources, wildlife habitats and natural areas suitable for resource-based recreation.
For the previous three years, Charlie worked with two firms that specialize in working landscapes:
- Saunders Real Estate | Forestry Group helps buyers and sellers of timberland tracts with expanded specialty services for timber real estate brokerage, acquisition due diligence, investment analysis, and agricultural property valuations. Charlie’s work included conservation easements, public land acquisition, and ecosystem services. He represented the owners of Gilchrist Blue Springs which was sold to the State of Florida for the creation of a state park.
- Natural Resource Planning Services is a multidiciplinary consulting firm offering forestry, arboricultural, wildlife, real estate, and appraisal services. Charlie provided expertise in natural resource assessment and management including ecosystem restoration, timber management, and nature-based recreation.
For 28 years, Charlie worked with Florida’s water management districts, in the implementation of Florida’s ambitious public land acquisition programs. Through the Florida Forever, Preservation 2000, and Save Our Rivers programs, he oversaw the acquisition of land and conservation easements on over 300,000 acres for the Suwannee River and St. Johns River water management districts.
He oversaw the stewardship of these lands to provide multiple benefits including watershed management, natural community restoration, timber production, and recreation.
Projects accomplished during his tenure included:
- Hydrologic restoration at a landscape scale, including one of the most extensive Wetland Reserve projects in the nation;
- Natural community restoration of industrial forest land focusing on establishment of longleaf pine and maintenance through an aggressive prescribed burning program;
- Timber management for both improved forest habitat and revenue generation;
- Recreational development to provide access for local residents and sustainable, nature-based tourism for the regional economy.
A Certified Forester, Charlie received a BS in Forestry from the University of Florida. Prior to his service with Florida’s water management districts, he worked with the regional consulting firm, F&W Forestry Services, Inc. where he helped both corporate and individual landowners meet their objectives. He maintains an active role in his profession through involvement in the University’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the Society of American Foresters.
- Conservation Easements, Class Lecture, Integrated Forest Management, UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Gainesville, FL, March 1, 2017
- Conservation Easements for Forest Landowners, Florida Forestry Association Annual Meeting, Panama City Beach, FL, August 26, 2015
- Managing Forests for Water Resources in the Steinhatchee River Basin, Society of American Foresters Annual Convention, Charleston, SC, October 26, 2013
- Standards for Managing Public Conservation Lands, Society of American Foresters Annual Convention, Portland, OR, October 24, 2007
- Restoration of Mallory Swamp and the Steinhatchee River Basin, American Water Resources Association Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, September 7, 2003