District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve

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 June through September at the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, which includes the Green Swamp East Tract in Polk, Sumter and Lake counties, the Hampton Tract in Polk County, and the Green Swamp West Tract in Pasco County.

The Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve is located north of U.S. Highway 98 along Highway 471 and Rockridge Road between Lakeland and Dade City. Approximately 11,800 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Some primary benefits of prescribed fire include:

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

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

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District’s Draft 2020 Regional Water Supply Plan Now Available for Review and Comment

The Southwest Florida Water Management District's (District) draft 2020 Regional Water Supply Plan (RWSP) is now available on the District’s website for review and comment by stakeholders and the public. The plan identifies existing and projected water demands across all water use categories, available potential water sources, and projects and funding sources to meet those demands within the District’s four planning regions over the next 20 years.

Two online webinar workshops will be held in June to provide opportunities for the public and stakeholders to learn more and comment on the draft plan. All public comments and feedback are taken into consideration and may be included in the final plan document. The comment period ends July 15 at 5 p.m.

The public webinars will take place:

  • June 24 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

This meeting will be held via Microsoft Teams. Please copy and paste the following URL into your browser, https://bit.ly/3cJFaOI and follow the instructions to connect to the meeting. Please use the web interface for Teams. Google Chrome is the recommended browser for best compatibility. Members of the public can also call into the meeting at (888) 585-9008 using the conference code 346-054-201.

  • June 30 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

This meeting will be held via Microsoft Teams. Please copy and paste the following URL into your browser, https://bit.ly/2BUzG79 and follow the instructions to connect to the meeting. Please use the web interface for Teams. Google Chrome is the recommended browser for best compatibility. Members of the public can also call into the meeting at (888) 585-9008 using the conference code 346-054-201.

The Draft 2020 RWSP has been developed in collaboration with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Suwannee River, St. Johns River and South Florida water management districts, public water supply utilities and other stakeholder groups. The District includes four planning regions that consist of all or part of 16 counties in west-central Florida, covering approximately 10,000 square miles.

The final plan will be presented to the District’s Governing Board for approval in November. To view the draft plan, please click here.

The Draft 2020 RWSP is in the process of being converted to an ADA compliant document. The Final 2020 RWSP will be ADA compliant. If you need assistance, please contact the District at (352) 796-7211 or 1-800-423-1476.

 

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Governing Board Meeting to be Conducted Remotely

Public participation will be provided through online viewing or conference call options

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board will hold its monthly meeting Tuesday, June 23, at 9 a.m. remotely.

In-person attendance by Board members and staff will be limited in accordance with the directive in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Emergency Order to conduct all public meetings electronically. With the exception of the Governing Board chair, all other Board members will be participating remotely. Only staff that are necessary for the meeting will attend in person at the Brooksville Headquarters, located at 2379 Broad Street in Brooksville.

To view the Governing Board meeting online, visit WaterMatters.org and click on the “Live Video Stream” link. The video stream link becomes active and the live video feed begins approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled meeting time.

For any members of the public who wish to provide input to the Governing Board, call in at 1-888-585-9008, then enter conference room number 346-054-201. You will also be able to hear the proceedings there. If possible, please use a landline for the best connection. Please do not use speakerphone or put your phone on hold. Please be sure to mute your phone when you are not providing comment. During the conference call, *2 will mute or unmute your call.

If you are calling in to provide input but also want to see the meeting presentations, we recommend you use the Skype option available rather than our traditional livestream. The livestream is slightly delayed so it wouldn’t be in sync with the phone call. When logging in to Skype, you must select “Don’t join audio.” Make sure to also mute your Skype device audio to avoid feedback loop. Use the telephone numbers listed above to listen to the meeting.

The meeting agenda and meeting materials are posted one week before the meeting, and can be found at WaterMatters.org by clicking on the “Go to District Calendar” link.

 

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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 June through September on Prairie/Shell Creek in Charlotte County.

Prairie/Shell Creek is located on the west side of U.S. Highway 17, approximately 5 miles northeast of Punta Gorda. Prairie/Shell Creek lies between U.S. 17 and the Peace River. Approximately 260 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.

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

 

 

 

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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 June through September on the Deep Creek Preserve in DeSoto County.

Deep Creek Preserve is located in southwest DeSoto County, east of Kings Highway. Approximately 630 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.

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

 

 

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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 June through September at Annuteliga Hammock and Weekiwachee Preserve in Hernando County.

Annuteliga Hammock is located east of U.S. Highway 19, north of Centralia Road and south of the county line. Approximately 300 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 400 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.

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

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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 June through September on the Lower Hillsborough Flood Detention Area (LHFDA) in Hillsborough County.

The LHFDA is located south of Cross Creek Boulevard between U.S. Highway 301 and Morris Bridge Road near Thonotosassa. 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.

 

 

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District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Manatee 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 June through September on the Edward W. Chance Reserve - Gilley Creek Tract (Gilley Creek) and Coker Prairie Tract in Manatee County.

Gilley Creek is located between State Road 62 and 64, east of County Road 675. Approximately 1,050 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Coker Prairie is located south of State Road 64. Approximately 380 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.

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

 

 

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