Florida Wildlife Corridor Conservation Update

March 2024 Board of Trustees Cabinet Meeting

Digital Media Toolkit

The Florida Governor and Cabinet approved funding for the permanent conservation of 36,091 acres within the Florida Wildlife Corridor during the March 26, 2024 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 contributing to 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.

Overview: Five Properties Approved for Protection

Download Overview Carousel Photos and Map

Photos 1 and 4 by Lauren Yoho / Wildpath, Photo 2 by Drew McDougall / Wildpath, Photo 3 by Cindy Partin, Photo 5 by Ed Chappell, Map by Angeline Meeks / Archbold Biological Station

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On March 26, the State of Florida approved funding for the permanent conservation of 36,091 acres across five properties within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. 

Thank you to the leadership of the landowners, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy, Keith Fountain Law, Saunders Real Estate, Axel Real Estate, and other partners for coming together to make these opportunities possible. 

The properties are Rainey Pasture (photo 1), Lake Hatchineha Watershed – Creek Ranch (photo 2), Heart Bar Ranch (photo 3), Yarborough Ranch (photo 4), and Caloosahatchee – Big Cypress Corridor (photo 5).  

Rainey Pasture and Heart Bar Ranch are to be protected by conservation easements funded through Rural and Family Lands program at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Caloosahatchee – Big Cypress Corridor, Yarborough Ranch, and Lake Hatchineha Watershed are to be protected through fee acquisitions funded through Florida Forever program at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Instagram tags: @fl.dep, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, @nature_org, Photos 1 and 4 by @leyoho/@wildpath, Photo 2 by @drew_mcdougall/@wildpath, Photo 3 by Cindy Partin, Photo 5 by @edchappellimages, Maps by @angeline.maps, @archboldstation

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, @Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, @The Nature Conservancy/@The Nature Conservancy in Florida, Photos 1 and 4 by Lauren Yoho/@Wildpath, Photo 2 by Drew McDougall/@Wildpath, Photo 3 by Cindy Partin, Photo 5 by @Ed Chappell Inc, Maps by Angeline Meeks/@Archbold Biological Station

Download Overview Video and Reel

Video by Lauren Yoho / Wildpath, Drew McDougall / Wildpath, and Photo by Ed Chappell

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On March 26, the State of Florida approved funding for the permanent conservation of 36,091 acres across five properties within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. 

Thank you to the leadership of the landowners, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy, Keith Fountain Law, Saunders Real Estate, Axel Real Estate, and other partners for coming together to make these opportunities possible. 

The properties are Rainey Pasture, Lake Hatchineha Watershed – Creek Ranch, Heart Bar Ranch, Yarborough Ranch, and Caloosahatchee – Big Cypress Corridor.  

Rainey Pasture and Heart Bar Ranch are to be protected by conservation easements funded through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Caloosahatchee – Big Cypress Corridor, Yarborough Ranch, and Lake Hatchineha Watershed are to be protected through fee acquisitions funded through the Florida Forever Program at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Instagram tags:@fl.dep, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, @nature_org, Video by @leyoho/@wildpath, @drew_mcdougall/@wildpath, and Photo by @edchappellimages

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, @Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, @The Nature Conservancy/@The Nature Conservancy in Florida, Video by Lauren Yoho/@Wildpath, Drew McDougall/@Wildpath, and Photo by @Ed Chappell Inc

Caloosahatchee – Big Cypress Corridor

Download Caloosahatchee-Big Cypress Corridor Photos and Map

Photos 1 and 3 by Ed Chappell, Photo 2 by Carlton Ward Jr., Map by Angeline Meeks / Archbold Biological Station

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The 25,039-acre Caloosahatchee – Big Cypress Corridor Project, located in the Florida Wildlife Corridor, was recently approved for a fee acquisition through Florida Forever at the March 26 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet. 

Thank you to the landowner, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and The Nature Conservancy for coming together to conserve this property. 

The property strengthens connectivity between the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Big Cypress National Preserve to Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest and Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area. The conservation of these lands provides protection to water resources and adds to wildlife corridors for many species including the Florida panther. The land will continue to be used for agricultural work, managed through a lease with the Department of Environmental Protection. 

Instagram tags: @fl.dep, @nature_org, Photos 1 and 3 by @edchappellimages, Photo 2 by @carltonward

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, @The Nature Conservancy/@The Nature Conservancy in Florida, Photos 1 and 3 by @Ed Chappell Inc, Photo 2 by @carltonward

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

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

Rainey Pasture

Download Rainey Pasture Photos and MapDownload Rainey Pasture Reel

Photos and Video by Lauren Yoho / Wildpath, Map by Angeline Meeks / Archbold Biological Station

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Rainey Pasture is a 5,269-acre property within the Florida Wildlife Corridor that was recently approved for a conservation easement through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program at the March 26 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet. 

Thank you to the landowner, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Keith Fountain Law for coming together to protect this land. 

Rainey Pasture is used as a working land for timber production within Marion County. The property is in the Silver Springs Watershed and adjacent to the Ocklawaha River, providing several miles of river protection that is part of the Ocklawaha River Aquatic Preserve that has been designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway. The land provides habitat for Florida black bears, gopher tortoises, bald eagles, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and more.

Instagram tags: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Photos by @leyoho / @wildpath

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Photos by Lauren Yoho / @Wildpath

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

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

Heart Bar Ranch

Download Heart Bar Ranch Photos and MapDownload Heart Bar Ranch Reel

Photos 1-5 by Lauren Yoho/Wildpath, Photo 6 by Cindy Partin, Video by Lauren Yoho/Wildpath, Map by Angeline Meeks / Archbold Biological Station

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Heart Bar Ranch has been newly approved for a conservation easement through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program at the March 26, 2024 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet. The property is a 3,080-acre cattle ranch within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. 

Thank you to the landowners, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Saunders Real Estate, and Keith Fountain Law for coming together to make this conservation easement possible.  

Heart Bar Ranch is located in Osceola County and will continue to be a working cattle ranch managed by 5th and 6th generation family farmers. The property is also used for other agricultural activities including timber, wildlife management, and seed business. The land is primarily made up of pine flatwoods, forested wetlands, and herbaceous wetlands. Camp Lonesome Creek winds though 4 miles of the ranch and then flows into Canoe Creek. Heart Bar Ranch provides protection to water resources of the Northern Everglades watershed and provides habitat to burrowing owls, gopher tortoises, Eastern indigo snakes, Florida scrub-jays, and many other wildlife. 

Instagram tags: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Photos 1-5 by @leyoho/@wildpath, Photo 6 by Cindy Partin

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Photos 1-5 by Lauren Yoho/@wildpath, Photo 6 by Cindy Partin

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

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

Yarborough Ranch

Download Yarborough Ranch Photos and MapDownload Yarborough Ranch Reel

Photos 1 and 3-6 by Lauren Yoho/Wildpath, Photo 2 by Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath, Video by Lauren Yoho/Wildpath, Map by Angeline Meeks/Archbold Biological Station

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Yarborough Ranch was recently approved for conservation at the March 26, 2024 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet through the Florida Forever program via fee acquisition. The 1,361-acre property is located in Seminole County and within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. 

Thank you to the leadership of the landowners, the Department of Environmental Protection, and Axel Real Estate for coming together to protect this land. 

Yarborough Ranch has been a working cattle ranch for multiple generations. The property is adjacent to Little Big Econ State Forest and other conservation lands. The land will be managed as an addition to Little Big Econ State Forest by Seminole County providing public access and recreational opportunities. The land is also within the Big Econlockhatchee Drainage Basin and the Geneva Freshwater Lens, which supplies drinking water to residents of Seminole County.  

Instagram tags: @fl.dep, Photos 1 and 3-6 by @leyoho / @wildpath, Photo 2 by @carltonward / @wildpath

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Photos 1 and 3-6 by Lauren Yoho / @wildpath, Photo 2 by @carltonward / @wildpath

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

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

Lake Hatchineha Watershed – Creek Ranch

Download Lake Hatchineha Watershed Photos and MapDownload Lake Hatchineha Watershed Reel

Photos by Drew McDougall/Wildpath, Video by Drew McDougall/Wildpath, Map by Angeline Meeks/Archbold Biological Station

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Lake Hatchineha Watershed Florida Forever Project – Creek Ranch has been newly approved for permanent protection by way of fee acquisition through Florida Forever at the March 26, 2024 meeting of the Governor and Cabinet. The 1,342-acres property is in Polk County and within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. 

Thank you to the landowner, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Saunders Real Estate for making this acquisition possible.  

Creek Ranch was used as working cattle ranch and horse farm. The property is adjacent to Lake Hatchineha and is part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, part of the headwaters of the Everglades. The property will be managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The land provides crucial habitat and connectivity for many species including gopher tortoise, caracara, the Florida scrub lizard, Florida black bear, and Florida panther.

Instagram tags: @fl.dep, Photos by @drew_mcdougall / @wildpath

Facebook tags: @Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Photos by Drew McDougall / @wildpath

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

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

Suggested Hashtags

#KeepFLWild #ConnectTheCorridor #FloridaWildlifeCorridor

#WildlifeCorridors #ProtectWildPlaces #LandConservation #WildFlorida

Usage Rights

Visuals by Lauren Yoho, Carlton Ward Jr., Drew McDougall, Angeline Meeks, Ed Chappell, and Cindy Partin provided for one-time use for coverage or promotion of Florida Wildlife Corridor-related news from the March 26 Board of Trustees meeting, dated March 2024. 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 @leyoho, @carltonward, @drew_mcdougall, @edchappellimages, or Cindy Partin (reference photo grids for credit guidance)
  • Facebook: @Wildpath, Photo by Lauren Yoho, @CarltonWard, Drew McDougall, @Ed Chappell Inc, or Cindy Partin (reference photo grids for credit guidance)
  • Twitter: Photo by Lauren Yoho, @CarltonWard, Drew McDougall, Ed Chappell, or Cindy Partin (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:

  • Lauren Yoho/Wildpath
  • Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath
  • Drew McDougall/Wildpath
  • Cindy Partin
  • Ed Chappell

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:

  • Lauren Yoho/Wildpath
  • Carlton Ward Jr./Wildpath
  • Drew McDougall/Wildpath
  • Cindy Partin
  • Ed Chappell

Map: Angeline Meeks, Archbold Biological Station