(Left) Pfeifer Realty Group Broker-Owner Eric Pfeifer, left, with SCCF’s CEO Ryan Orgera. (Right) SCCF Land Conservation Steward and chief operator Victor Young stands next to the new skid-steer and a debris pile he just stacked. Photos provided
(Left) Pfeifer Realty Group Broker-Owner Eric Pfeifer, left, with SCCF’s CEO Ryan Orgera. (Right) SCCF Land Conservation Steward and chief operator Victor Young stands next to the new skid-steer and a debris pile he just stacked. Photos provided

The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation received a $2,500 gift from Pfeifer Realty Group to be used for the purchase of land restoration equipment for wildlife and habitat management, including a John Deer skid-steer.

The skid-steer, a compact track loader similar to a bobcat, will aid in habitat restoration. When SCCF acquires land for conservation, it has usually been negatively impacted and requires restoration that is done by the organization’s wildlife and habitat management staff.

Pfeifer Realty Marketing Director Mary Ellen Pfeifer, who is a trustee on the SCCF Board of Directors and co-serves as board liaison for the wildlife habitat and management staff, learned the department’s old equipment was impacting their ability to function efficiently. She and co-liaison Robin Krivanek requested equipment upgrades, including the skid-steer, and Pfeifer decided to support that need.

We are pleased to be able to support the work of the wildlife and habitat management staff,” said Pfeifer. “This equipment will be used in the restoration and maintenance of habitat on SCCF preserves, work that is often not seen by the public.”

The purchase was also made possible through generous gifts from the Wescustogo Foundation/Nanovic Family; the Donald Slavik Family Foundation; Linda and Wayne Boyd; Leah and Doug Beck; Kay Redmond; and Kris and Doug Ryckman.

We are lucky to have these wonderful people who are so invested in the work being done by SCCF staff and want to provide financial support to help us further that work,” said the organization’s CEO Ryan Orgera.

The new skid-steer enables SCCF staff to handle larger projects that were previously contracted. It can remove undesirable trees, up to 5 inches in diameter, from the ground in seconds. Previously those trees would have been cut down by hand and left in place on the ground, which deters growth of desirable ground cover plants.

Now, the fallen trees can be moved to piles or mulched, allowing grasses and other low plants to grow. Additionally, the skid-steer is less likely to become stuck in the mud, which means it can cover more ground and make it easier to maneuver over large obstacles. The forestry package was also purchased to protect the skid-steer as much as possible.