CLEWISTON, FL. -- A 10-year plan for the Spirit-of-the-Wild Wildlife Management Area will be presented at a public hearing in Hendry County on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016.
People are invited to the 7 p.m. public hearing at John Boy Auditorium, 1200 South W.C. Owens Ave., Clewiston.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff will present the draft land management plan for the FWC-managed Spirit-of-the-Wild WMA, and people will be encouraged to comment and ask questions. For more information on the upcoming local public hearing, go to MyFWC.com/Conservation and select “Terrestrial” then “Management Plans.”
The Spirit-of-the-Wild WMA is south of the Caloosahatchee River and about 40 miles northeast of Fort Myers. Visitors have the opportunity to experience the Spirit-of-the-Wild WMA through seasonal hunting, wildlife viewing, scenic drives, hiking, biking and horseback riding.
Wood storks, swallow-tailed kites, roseate spoonbills, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, gopher tortoises and the Carter’s large-flowered flax plant are species native to this area. The Spirit-of-the-Wild WMA along with the Okaloacoochee Slough WMA, Dinner Island WMA and Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest conserve over 64,000 acres of contiguous habitat. This in turn conserves the watershed of public lands downstream, including Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
“The Spirit-of-the-Wild WMA was purchased to ensure the conservation of fish and wildlife resources, other natural and cultural resources, and for fish and wildlife-based public outdoor recreation,” said Lance Jacobson, FWC land conservation planner. “This draft plan will specify 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 Spirit-of-the-Wild WMA, contact Sarah Pierce at 850-487-7063 or Sarah.Pierce@MyFWC.com.