18 January 2012 New Wildlife Refuge Established in Florida Posted by: James Navarro | 2 comments | Share: The Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area was created today. BREAKING: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the creation of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area in Florida today. The refuge aims to conserve the Everglades’ headwaters and fish and wildlife and to preserve the community’s ranching heritage. “The creation of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is not only critical for restoring imperiled wildlife, like Florida panthers and whooping cranes that depend on the region, but also for preserving a way of life for the ranchers who have made their living off the land for decades,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. The agency envisions expanding the small refuge to one day span some 150,000 acres north of Lake Okeechobee in south Florida, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s website. The majority of it will be protected through conservation easements purchased from private landowners, who would retain ownership of the land, as well as the right to raise cattle or crops, according to the Interior Department’s news release. But the easements would protect the land from development, officials said. “This endeavor is the perfect example of the payoff when diverse shareholders come together with a common conservation goal, and sets the stage for future collaboration to preserve Florida’s natural assets,” Clark said. 2 Responses to “New Wildlife Refuge Established in Florida” Lori January 18th, 2012 This sounds great — I do have another question, what about “hunting”? Do the landowners (or anyone) have rights to hunting? Defenders of Wildlife January 19th, 2012 Thanks for the question, Lori. Many national wildlife refuges do permit some amount of hunting in addition to wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, interpretation, and fishing. The Everglades refuge will also permit it. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in It’s Time to Act for Right Whales Years after they agreed to expand critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales, we’re still waiting on NMFS to follow through. So we took to the courts to get this much-needed protection in place. How Should We Honor Earth Day? America has many worldwide firsts in conservation: we were the first nation to establish a national park, the first to create a national wildlife refuge, the first to approve a law protecting endangered species and the first to create a national day dedicated to conservation, Earth Day. But today, we are experiencing another period of crisis in America’s commitment to conservation. When did conservation become a polarizing political issue, when it has been, for the past century, a defining characteristic of American values and the American spirit? Ecological Insults and Injuries Revealed Four Years after Deepwater Horizon Four years after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, we’re beginning to see the full scope of how this ecological disaster is impacting our wildlife on land, air and sea.