District to Hold Virtual Workshop on Minimum Flows for Lower Shell Creek in Charlotte County

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) invites the public to a virtual workshop Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 5:30 p.m. The purpose of the virtual workshop is to allow for public comment on recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek in Charlotte County.

Members of the public may join the meeting via Microsoft Teams through this link https://bit.ly/3arKI1S. The Google Chrome browser is recommended for best compatibility with Microsoft Teams. For telephone-only participation, dial 1-786-749-6127 and when prompted enter the conference ID: 976694684#.

Minimum flows are limits established by the District’s Governing Board, and required by state law, to protect flowing water bodies from significant harm caused by ground and surface water withdrawals. The District’s scientists use numerous tools to collect, develop and analyze data before recommending a minimum flow. Their work is then evaluated by an independent peer review panel.

During the workshop, District staff will review the technical basis for the recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek. Recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek were summarized in a draft report that also addressed reevaluated minimum flows for the Lower Peace River and was presented to the District’s Governing Board and previously made available on the District’s website. A revised version of the draft report with updated status information for the recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek is available for review and is posted at WaterMatters.org/documents-and-reports. All public comments are summarized and shared with the District’s Governing Board for its consideration when reviewing the recommended minimum flows. Public comments can be submitted to the District by filling out a virtual comment card.

District staff anticipates presenting the recommended minimum flows for Lower Shell Creek at the December Governing Board meeting, where the Governing Board may choose to initiate rulemaking for adoption of the minimum flow into District rules. Governing Board meetings are open to the public, and brief oral comments are permitted on meeting agenda items.

For more information regarding the recommended minimum flows, please contact Doug Leeper, MFLs Program Lead with the District’s Environmental Flows and Assessments Section at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4272.

Written comments regarding the minimum flows are also welcome. They can be submitted via mail or email no later than Nov. 24, 2021, to Doug Leeper, at 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34604-6899 or doug.leeper@watermatters.org.

Subject
Water Conservation

District’s Flying Eagle Nature Center Closed for Hog Hunts Nov. 2-4

The Southwest Florida Water Management District's (District) Flying Eagle Nature Center in Citrus County will be temporarily closed to the public for feral hog hunts Nov. 2-4.

Only permitted hunters will be allowed on the property during these dates. All 20 permits for these hunts have been sold.

Flying Eagle Nature Center is located at 12650 East Boy Scout Road in Inverness.

This activity is one of a series of feral hog hunts being held on District lands to control the damage being caused to the natural habitats.

The District only allows hogs to be controlled through hunts when the damage they cause exceeds unacceptable levels, and damage is occurring more frequently and with increasing severity.

Feral hogs live throughout Florida in various habitats, but prefer moist forests and swamps, as well as pine flatwoods. They are omnivorous and feed by rooting with their broad snouts, which can cause extensive damage to the natural habitats. In fact, they can leave an area looking like a plowed field.

Feral hogs are not native to Florida and are believed to have been introduced by explorer Hernando DeSoto as early as 1539. They can weigh more than 300 pounds and travel in herds of several females and their offspring.

For more information, please call the District’s Land Management section at 1-800-423-1476 or (352) 796-7211, ext. 4467 or visit WaterMatters.org/HogHunts.

Subject
Nature & Land

Governing Board Elects Michelle Williamson as New Secretary for 2021-2022 Term

The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board voted Tuesday to elect Michelle Williamson as the new secretary for the 2021-2022 term.

Williamson represents Hillsborough County and is operations manager of G&F Farms in Dover. Williamson was appointed to the Governing Board in December 2020, and her term expires March 1, 2024. Williamson previously served on the Board from August 2016 to August 2020, during which time she held the offices of treasurer and vice chair.

Williamson assumes her position for the 2021-2022 term immediately.

Governing Board members are unpaid, citizen volunteers who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate. The Governing Board sets policy for the District, whose mission is to protect water resources, minimize flood risks, and ensure the public’s water needs are met.

 

 

Subject
Governing Board

District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Charlotte County

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s wildfire emergency in 2017.

That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns October through December on the Prairie Shell Creek Tract in Charlotte County.

Prairie Shell Creek is located at 3081 Duncan Road (U.S. Highway 17) north of Punta Gorda, east of U.S. Highway 17. Approximately 200 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Some major benefits of prescribed fire include:

  • Reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
  • Promoting the growth of new, diverse plants.
  • Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat.
  • Maintaining access for public recreation.

The District conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year.

Click here to see aerial footage from a prescribed fire in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve where District land management staff burned 320 acres.

 

 

District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Citrus County

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s wildfire emergency in 2017.

That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns October through December on Potts Preserve, Flying Eagle Preserve and Chassahowitzka River and Coastal Swamps in Citrus County.

Potts Preserve is located approximately 2 miles east of the city of Hernando and three and a half miles north-northeast of Inverness. The property is east and southeast of State Road 200 and north of Turner Camp Road and is bordered by the Withlacoochee River on the east. Approximately 1,000 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Flying Eagle Preserve is located southeast of the city of Inverness and approximately 8 miles west of the Interstate 75 and Highway 44 interchange. Approximately 700 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Chassahowitzka River and Coastal Swamps is located south of the city of Homosassa and approximately 1.5 miles west of U.S. Highway 19. Approximately 50 acres will be burned.

Some major benefits of prescribed fire include:

  • Reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
  • Promoting the growth of new, diverse plants.
  • Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat.
  • Maintaining access for public recreation.

The District conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year.

Click here to see aerial footage from a prescribed fire in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve where District land management staff burned 320 acres.

 

 

 

District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for DeSoto County

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s wildfire emergency in 2017.

That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns October through December on the Deep Creek Preserve Tract in DeSoto County.

Deep Creek Preserve is located at 10797 Peace River Street in Arcadia, east of State Road 769. Approximately 300 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Some major benefits of prescribed fire include:

  • Reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
  • Promoting the growth of new, diverse plants.
  • Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat.
  • Maintaining access for public recreation.

The District conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year.

Click here to see aerial footage from a prescribed fire in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve where District land management staff burned 320 acres.

 

 

Subject
Nature & Land

District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Hernando County

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s wildfire emergency in 2017.

That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns October through December at Annutteliga Hammock and Weekiwachee Preserve in Hernando County.

Annutteliga Hammock is located east of U.S. Highway 19, north of Centralia Road and south of the county line. Approximately 200 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

The Weekiwachee Preserve is located west of U.S. Highway 19 between Spring Hill and Hernando Beach. Approximately 300 acres will be burned in small, manageable units. Some trails may be temporarily closed during prescribed burn events.

Some major benefits of prescribed fire include:

  • Reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
  • Promoting the growth of new, diverse plants.
  • Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat.
  • Maintaining access for public recreation.

The District conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year.

Click here to see aerial footage from a prescribed fire in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve where District land management staff burned 320 acres.

District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Hillsborough County

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s wildfire emergency in 2017.

That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns October through December on the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve in Hillsborough County.

The Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve is located south of Cross Creek Boulevard between U.S. Highway 301 and Morris Bridge Road near Thonotosassa. Approximately 150 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Some major benefits of prescribed fire include:

  • Reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
  • Promoting the growth of new, diverse plants.
  • Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat.
  • Maintaining access for public recreation.

The District conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year.

Click here to see aerial footage from a prescribed fire in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve where District land management staff burned 320 acres.

 

 

Subject
Nature & Land