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Help Plan the Future of WMAs in the Everglades

A 10-year plan for several Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in the Everglades will be presented at a July 11 public hearing in Broward County.

Anyone can attend the 7 p.m. public hearing that Thursday at the University of Florida Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff will present the draft land management plan developed for FWC-managed portions of the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor, Holey Land and Rotenberger WMAs. The 700,000 plus acres in the three WMAs are home to species such as alligator, bald eagle, Everglades mink, Florida black bear, Florida panther, roseate spoonbill, snail kite and wood stork. These WMAs also are close to the urban communities of south Florida, providing people with nearby opportunities for hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, camping, bicycling, bird watching and wildlife viewing.

At the hearing, the public will be encouraged to ask questions and comment on the draft plan, available for review at http://myfwc.com/media/2575828/ECWMA-Area-Overview.pdf.

“The Everglades complex of Wildlife Management Areas was purchased in order to ensure the preservation of fish and wildlife resources, other natural and cultural resources, and for fish and wildlife-based public outdoor recreation,” said Rebecca Shelton, FWC land conservation biologist. “This draft plan specifies how we intend to do that.”

All lands purchased with public funds must have a management plan that ensures the property will be managed in a manner consistent with the intended purposes of the purchase.

Hunting and fishing regulations are not included in this plan or meeting; those are addressed through a separate public process.

To obtain a copy of the draft land management prospectus for the Everglades Complex of WMAs, please call Diana Kilgore at 850-487-7063 or David Alden at 850-487-9588, or email Diana.Kilgore@myfwc.com.

For background and more information on management plans and their goals, visit MyFWC.com/Conservation and select “Terrestrial Programs” then “Management Plans.”

To learn more about the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor, Holey Land and Rotenberger trio of WMAs, go to MyFWC.com/ Viewing and select “Wildlife Management Areas” then “Explore by Name.” All three are under “Lead Areas.”




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