Posted by: stiltsville | March 13, 2011

Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge proposed

Map of the Everglades area.

Image via Wikipedia

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing the establishment of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and the establishment of an associated Everglades Headwaters Conservation Area as the first phase of a multi-phase approach to address landscape-scale land protection efforts in south-central Florida. This new approach is described as the Greater Everglades Strategic Habitat Conservation Initiative which will conserve the land, water, and wildlife resources of the Greater Everglades area. In order to facilitate analysis across this vast landscape, this large geographic area was divided into three Study Areas: the Everglades Headwaters, Fisheating Creek, and Panther/Caloosahatchee.

Extending from the outskirts of the Orlando metropolitan area south through the Kissimmee River valley to Lake Okeechobee and southwest to Florida Panther Refuge and the Big Cypress Preserve is a vast, approximately 4.5 million acre region of wilderness and working ranch lands that comprise the Greater Everglades landscape. This area is one of the great grassland and savanna landscapes of eastern North America. Still largely rural, this Greater Everglades area is a mosaic of seasonally wet grasslands, longleaf pine savannas, and cattle ranches that sustains one of the most important assemblages of imperiled vertebrate wildlife in the southeast U.S. and a large portion of the unprotected natural habitat remaining in peninsular Florida.

This Initiative would conserve lands and restore habitat within this Greater Everglades landscape, thus creating and connecting a matrix of conservation lands and critical wildlife corridors. The Initiative, being first introduced here and in its early formative stages, is also being considered during the development of the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The Initiative will be fully developed and described during detailed planning for the proposed Everglades Headwaters NWR. Read more here

 

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