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. Florida panther, courtesy George Gentry, USFWS 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 Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Senate Wakes Up to Climate Change…At Least Some of Them Tonight more than 20 senators will be taking over the Senate floor to pull an all-nighter to “wake up” Congress to climate change. Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential.