Help plan the future of Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area

FWC Photo

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will present a 10-year plan for the Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area at a public hearing in Hendry County at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 19.

The public hearing will be held at the John Boy Auditorium, 1200 S. WC Owen Ave. in Clewiston. The public is encouraged to attend and will have the opportunity to comment and ask questions regarding the draft land management plan for the FWC-managed WMA.

The Okaloacoochee Slough WMA is north of County Road 832 (Keri Road) in Hendry County approximately 12 miles southeast of LaBelle. It offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation including hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, biking and horseback riding.

The Okaloacoochee Slough WMA, in conjunction with other nearby conservation areas, provides vital habitat for the Florida panther, as well as more common species such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey. The WMA also provides an important buffer for the Okaloacoochee Slough, which protects water quality. Waters from the slough flow to the Fakahatchee Strand and the mangrove swamps of Ten Thousand Islands.

“The Okaloacoochee Slough WMA was purchased to ensure the conservation of fish, wildlife, and other natural and cultural resources for future generations, and to provide fish- and wildlife-based outdoor recreation opportunities to the public,” said Lance Jacobson, FWC land conservation planner. “This draft plan will specify how we intend to accomplish that goal.”

For more information on this upcoming local public hearing, go to MyFWC.com/Conservation and select “Terrestrial Conservation” then “Management Plans.”

Pursuant to Chapters 253 and 259, Florida Statutes, all lands purchased with public funds must have a management plan that ensures the property will be managed in a manner that is consistent with the intended purposes of the purchase. For more information and background on management plans and their goals, visit MyFWC.com/Conservation and select “Terrestrial Conservation” then “Management Plans.”

Hunting and fishing regulations are not included in this plan or meeting; those are addressed through a separate public process. For more information about hunting and fishing regulations, visit MyFWC.com/hunting/regulations/.

To obtain a copy of the land management prospectus for the Okaloacoochee Slough WMA, call Lance Jacobson at 850-487-9767 or email Lance.Jacobson@MyFWC.com.

For more on the Okaloacoochee Slough WMA, go to MyFWC.com and select “Discover Wildlife” then “Wildlife Management Areas.”

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