Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet yesterday honored Florida State Park Biologist Robin Rossmanith with the Jim Stevenson Resource Manager of the Year Award for his dedication to habitat restoration and stewardship of state lands.
Robin “Rob” Rossmanith has dedicated 17 years of his career to the Park Service, working tirelessly to improve and protect the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Jonathan Dickinson State Park and Atlantic Ridge State Park.
“Environmental conservation is of the highest priority in Florida. The Florida Park Service was recently awarded with its fourth Gold Medal because of resource managers like Mr. Rossmanith,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am honored to present this award to a public servant who is devoted to protecting natural resources.”
Each year, land managers from DEP, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are selected for this award, which is one of Florida’s highest environmental honors.
“DEP established this award in 1992 to recognize the employee who has made the most significant progress in the stewardship of state lands for the year,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Rob’s dedication to the Florida Park Service and exemplary performance have helped protect Jonathan Dickenson and Atlantic Ridge State Parks, which are home to rare environments and ecosystems unique to Florida. Rob is an example of the great staff that makes the Department such a special place to work.”
He is recognized by his peers for restoring the natural fire regimen despite many logistical challenges, reducing invasive plant species to minimal levels across the parks, and reintroducing and protecting several imperiled or rare species. He has also been instrumental in unique partnerships to restore the hydrology of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, and works with many local partnerships and organizations to promote sound stewardship of natural resources across his region.
The award is named for James A. Stevenson, who led the state’s ecosystem management, prescribed burning, non-native plant control and springs protection during his long career with DEP’s Florida Park Service and Division of State Lands.
The other award recipients are Roy Rushing of the Florida Forest Service and Barbara Almario of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Recipients are selected by a committee of environmental professionals representing the Sierra Club, Audubon Florida and the Nature Conservancy.
About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. The department enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention and acquires environmentally sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves.