Florida Wildlife Corridor Conservation Update

August 2022 Board of Trustees Cabinet Meeting

Digital Media Toolkit

The Florida Governor and Cabinet approved funding for the permanent conservation of nearly 20,000 acres in the Florida Wildlife Corridor during the August 23, 2022 Cabinet meeting.

Please use this digital media toolkit to share this exciting news with your audience.

A message for our partners, colleagues, and friends in Florida: The protected lands of the Florida Wildlife Corridor are a place where our collective missions intersect. Land conservation successes within the Corridor help ensure the long-term survival of many species, provide life support systems for Florida’s cities, improve the health of our waters, and protect natural Florida for future generations. As Florida grows, continued investment in conservation lands is critical to ensure that our wild lands will provide benefits to all Floridians.

Media Requirements

Please reach out to Kendra Parson at (850) 418-1126 with any media inquiries.

Overview Photo Carousel: Seven Landscapes Approved for Protection

Suggested Post: On August 23, the Florida Governor and Cabinet approved funding for the permanent conservation of 19,897 acres across seven properties in the Florida Wildlife Corridor. The properties include Horse Creek Ranch (photo 1), Buck Island Ranch (photo 2), St. Joe Timberland (photo 3), Wolfe Creek Forest (photo 4), Hendrie Ranch (photo 5), Abington Preserve (photo 6), and Crippen Ranch (photo 7). 

Five of the properties were funded through the Florida Forever program. Hendrie Ranch and Buck Island Ranch were approved through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. Five of the properties (Horse Creek Ranch, Buck Island Ranch, Hendrie Ranch, Crippen Ranch, and Abington Preserve) are to be protected by conservation easements, where the land will continue to be privately owned and managed. Wolfe Creek Forest and St. Joe Timberland will become public lands, expanding adjacent state forests.

Photos 1-2 by Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath, Photos 3-4 by Lauren Yoho/Wildpath, Photos 5-7 by Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath, Map by Angeline Meeks/Archbold Biological Station

Instagram tags: @conservationflorida, @fl.dep, @swfwmd, @natureflorida, @usfws, @trustforpublicland, @wildpath_, @carltonward, @leyoho, @georgemckenziejr, @angeline.maps, @archboldstation

Facebook tags: @ConserveFlorida, @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, @Water Matters, @Florida Conservation Group, @Archbold Biological Station, @Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, @NatureConservancyFL, @U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, @Trust for Public Land, @Wildpath, @Carlton Ward

Crippen Ranch

Kissimmee-St. Johns River Connector Florida Forever Project
Part of the Avon Air Force Range Sentinel Landscape 

Download Crippen Ranch Images and Map

Photos by Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath, George McKenzie Jr./Wildpath and Scott Crippen

Suggested Post: Sandhill crane are just one of the species that can be found on Crippen Ranch, a 615-acre property which was approved for permanent protection via a conservation easement at the August 23, 2022 meeting of the Governor Cabinet. This property is located near the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park and within both the Kissimmee-St. Johns River Connector Florida Forever project and the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

Thank you to the leadership of Conservation Florida, the landowner, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, who came together to make this opportunity possible.

Instagram tags: @conservationflorida, @fl.dep, @wildpath_, Photos by @carltonward,  photo 3 by @georgemckenziejr and photo 4 by Scott Crippen

Facebook tags: @ConserveFlorida, @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, @Wildpath, Photos by @Carlton Ward, photo 3 by George McKenzie Jr. and photo 4 by Scott Crippen

Map Instagram tags: Map by @angeline.maps, @archboldstation

Map Facebook tags: Map by Angeline Meeks, @Archbold Biological Station

Abington Preserve

Kissimmee-St. Johns River Connector Florida Forever Project
Part of the Avon Air Force Range Sentinel Landscape 

Download Abington Preserve Images and Map

Photos by Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath and Dean Saunders

Suggested Post: Abington Preserve is a 3,634-acre property within the Kissimmee – St. Johns River Connector Florida Forever Project that was approved for a conservation easement at the August 23, 2022 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet. In addition to providing habitat for wildlife such as sandhill crane, wood stork, and crest caracara, Abington Preserve contains approximately 2,100 acres of dry prairie, an imperiled landscape within the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

This conservation easement was made possible with the leadership of the landowners and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Instagram tags: @fl.dep, @wildpath_, Photos by @CarltonWard and photo 2 by Dean Saunders

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, @Wildpath, Photos by @Carlton Ward and photo 2 by Dean Saunders

Map Instagram tags: Map by @angeline.maps, @archboldstation

Map Facebook tags: Map by Angeline Meeks, @Archbold Biological Station

Horse Creek Ranch

Horse Creek Ranch Florida Forever Project 

Download Horse Creek Ranch Images and Map

Photos by Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath

Suggested Post: A newly-approved conservation easement at Horse Creek Ranch will help protect a vital piece of the Florida Wildlife Corridor. The Carlton family, who have been ranching in the Peace River Valley since the mid-1800s, maintain Horse Creek Ranch for cattle ranching and other agricultural and recreational activities. The property is a tributary of the Peace River and contains landscapes that include mesic hammock, bottomland forest, scrubby flatwoods, and blackwater streams.

The 11,958-acre conservation easement is part of a coordinated effort between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Southwest Water Management District to acquire protections over the entire 16,316-acre ranch.

Thank you to the leadership of the landowner, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Southwest Water Management District, and the Florida Conservation Group, who came together to make this opportunity possible.

Instagram tags: @fl.dep, @swfwmd, @wildpath_, Photos by @CarltonWard

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, @Water Matters, @Florida Conservation Group, @Wilpath, Photos by @Carlton Ward

Map Instagram tags: Map by @angeline.maps, @archboldstation

Map Facebook tags: Map by Angeline Meeks, @Archbold Biological Station

St. Joe Timberland

St. Joe Timberland Florida Forever Project
George J. Mahr Property

Download St. Joe Timberland Images and Map

Photos by Lauren Yoho/Wildpath

Suggested Post:

The George J. Mahr property, part of the St. Joe Timberland Florida Forever Project, has been recently approved for conservation at the August 23, 2022 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet. The 376 acres borders Tate’s Hell State Forest and has nearly two miles of frontage on Whiskey George Creek. The creek flows into East Bay which connects into Apalachicola Bay (photo #5). The land is a part of the Florida Wildlife Corridor and is home to planted pine habitat and diverse wildlife, including several active Red Cockaded Woodpecker clusters, Florida black bear, swallow tail kites, and white-tailed deer. 

Acquisition of the George J. Mahr property will eliminate an inholding within Tate’s Hell State Forest and provide additional public access and recreational opportunities. It will also secure protection for water resources, help maintain water quality, and safeguard native ecosystems.  

Instagram tags: @fl.dep, @natureflorida, @wildpath_, Photos by @leyoho

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, @NatureConservancyFL, @Wildpath, Photos by Lauren Yoho/Wildpath

Map Instagram tags: Map by @angeline.maps, @archboldstation

Map Facebook tags: Map by Angeline Meeks, @Archbold Biological Station

Wolfe Creek Forest

Wolfe Creek Forest Florida Forever Project
Part of the Northwest Florida Sentinel Landscape 

Download Wolfe Creek Forest Images and Map

Photos by Lauren Yoho/Wildpath

Suggested Post:

This 768-acre parcel approved for protection at the August 23, 2022 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet, is part of the Wolfe Creek Forest Florida Forever Project. The property is adjacent to Blackwater River State Forest and part of the Florida Wildlife Corridor. It also provides a critical north-south corridor connection from Blackwater River State Forest to Naval Air Station Whiting Field and is located near Coldwater Creek (photo #6). Important wildlife in the area includes Florida black bears and southeastern weasels.  

Thank you to the leadership of the Trust for Public Land, the landowner, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection who came together to make this opportunity possible. This property is part of a large-phased-landscape acquisition partnership between the Department of Environmental Protection, the Navy, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Federal Forest Legacy Program, Santa Rosa County, and donations from the Knobloch Foundation. 

Instagram tags: @trustforpublicland, @fl.dep, @wildpath_, Photos by @leyoho

Facebook tags: @Trust for Public Land, @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, @Wildpath, Photos by Lauren Yoho

Map Instagram tags: Map by @angeline.maps, @archboldstation

Map Facebook tags: Map by Angeline Meeks, @Archbold Biological Station

Hendrie Ranch

Within the Lake Wales Ridge Florida Forever project area 

Download Hendrie Ranch Images and Map

Photos by Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath

Suggested Post: A new 663-acre conservation easement on Hendrie Ranch in Highlands County was recently approved at the August 23, 2022 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet. This Rural and Family Lands Protection Program conservation easement is located within the Lake Wales Ridge Florida Forever project area.

Hendrie Ranch has been managed for timber and beef for more than 65 years by the Hendrie family. The property is adjacent to the Archbold Biological Station and provides habitat within the Florida Wildlife Corridor for the Florida panther, Florida scrub jay, and crested caracara, among many other species.

The easement will be funded in part through the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species Recovery Land Acquisition Grant Program. The Nature Conservancy has also committed $100,000 in funding for the long-term management of the easement.

Thank you to the landowner, the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and The Nature Conservancy for their leadership.

Instagram tags: @natureflorida, @usfws, @archboldstation, @wildpath_, Photos by @carltonward

Facebook tags: @NatureConservancyFL, @Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, @U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, @Archbold Biological Station, @Wildpath_, Photos by @Carlton Ward

Map Instagram tags: Map by @angeline.maps, @archboldstation

Map Facebook tags: Map by Angeline Meeks, @Archbold Biological Station

Buck Island Ranch

Download Buck Island Ranch Images and Map

Photos by Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath

Suggested Post: At the August 23, 2022 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet, 1,883-acres of Buck Island Ranch in Highlands County was approved for permanent protection with a conservation easement through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. The parcel is part of the 10,500-acre working ranch, which is owned and managed by Archbold Biological Station. The ranch has high native species diversity, including 371 native plants and 171 documented bird species, and hosts several biological studies (photo #4).

This conservation easement will add to the existing protection of Buck Island Ranch, bringing the property to 67% protected. The ranch is home to many listed species within the Florida Wildlife Corridor, including the indigo snake, Florida black bear, Florida panther, and snail kite.

​Thank you to the leadership of Archbold Biological Station and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for making this opportunity possible.

Instagram tags: @archboldstation, @wildpath_, Photos by @carltonward

Facebook tags: @Archbold Biological Station, @Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, @Wildpath_, Photos by @Carlton Ward

Map Instagram tags: Map by @angeline.maps, @archboldstation

Map Facebook tags: Map by Angeline Meeks, @Archbold Biological Station

Suggested Hastags

#KeepFLWild #ConnectTheCorridor #FloridaWildlifeCorridor

#WildlifeCorridors #ProtectWildPlaces #LandConservation #WildFlorida

Usage Rights

Visuals by Carlton Ward Jr., Lauren Yoho, George McKenzie Jr. and Angeline Meeks provided for one-time use for coverage or promotion of Florida Wildlife Corridor-related news from the August 23 Board of Trustees meeting, dated August 2022. Copying, sublicensing, sale, distribution, and archiving are prohibited.

Mandatory Social Media Usage Requirements

For images, include the photo credit tag as listed:

  • Instagram: @Wildpath_, Photo by @CarltonWard, @leyoho, or @georgemckenziejr (reference photo grids for credit guidance)
  • Facebook: @Wildpath, Photo by @Carlton Ward, Lauren Yoho, or George McKenzie, Jr (reference photo grids for credit guidance)
  • Twitter: Photo by @CarltonWard, Lauren Yoho, or George McKenzie, Jr. (reference photo grids for credit guidance)

For maps, include the map photo credits:

  • Instagram: Map by @angeline.maps and @archboldstation
  • Facebook: Map by Angeline Meeks, @Archbold Biological Station
  • Twitter: @AngelineMeeks and @ArchboldStation

Mandatory Online/Print Usage Requirements for Multimedia

Include the photo/map credit:

Photos:

  • Carlton Ward, Jr./Wildpath
  • Lauren Yoho/Wildpath
  • George McKenzie, Jr./Wildpath

Map: Angeline Meeks, Archbold Biological Station

Mandatory On-Air Usage Requirements for Multimedia

For on-air usage, include credit with each photo, map, or video used:

Photos:

  • Carlton Ward, Jr./Wildpath
  • Lauren Yoho/Wildpath
  • George McKenzie, Jr./Wildpath

Map: Angeline Meeks, Archbold Biological Station