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 June through August 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 400 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

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

The District conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year. Click here to learn more about why igniting prescribed burns now prepares lands for the next wildfire season.

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District to Treat Hydrilla on Lake Panasoffkee

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be treating hydrilla on Lake Panasoffkee June 5, weather permitting. This treatment is being performed to maintain boating access within an area of the lake that is important for navigation.

The aquatic herbicide Aquathol K will be applied to hydrilla on a 100-acre portion of the 4,460-acre lake east of Tracy’s Point.

There are no restrictions on the use of treated water for swimming, fishing, or irrigating turf, ornamental plants and crops. Maps indicating the treatment area will be posted at the local fish camp boat ramps.

Hydrilla is a troublesome, invasive aquatic plant from Southeast Asia that was introduced into Florida lakes and rivers during the late 1950s. It is a fast-growing submerged plant that expands quickly, can grow densely from the bottom to the water surface and replace less problematic native plant species which are abundant on Lake Panasoffkee.

For more information, please call the District’s Brooksville Headquarters at 1-800-423-1476 or (352) 796-7211. Additional information on aquatic plant control operational schedules and annual waterbody workplans is available on the “What’s Happening on My Lake” website at MyFWC.com/Lake.

 

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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 April through June on the Lower Hillsborough Flood Detention Area (LHFDA).

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 learn more about why igniting prescribed burns now prepares lands for the next wildfire season.

 

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District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Pasco 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 April through June at Starkey Wilderness Preserve in Pasco County.

Starkey Wilderness Preserve is located east of New Port Richey, west of the Suncoast Parkway, north of State Road 54 and south of State Road 52. Approximately 800 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 learn more about why igniting prescribed burns now prepares lands for the next wildfire season.

 

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District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Sumter 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 April through June on the Lake Panasoffkee property in Sumter County.

The Lake Panasoffkee property is located near Interstate 75 and State Road 44. Approximately 700 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 learn more about why igniting prescribed burns now prepares lands for the next wildfire season.

 

 

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District’s Hampton Tract at Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve Closed for Hog Hunts Feb. 12-14

The Southwest Florida Water Management District's (District) Hampton Tract in Polk County, will be temporarily closed to the public for feral hog hunts Feb. 12-14.

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

The Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve’s Hampton Tract is located at 18490 Rock Ridge Road in Lakeland.

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. 4466.

 

 

 

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MEDIA ALERT: District Invites Media to Experience Prescribed Fires in Recognition of Prescribed Fire Awareness Week

WHO: Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) land management staff.

WHAT: District land management staff will set prescribed fires in a controlled setting, which can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s wildfire emergency in 2017.

WHERE: Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve located at 14302 Morris Bridge Road, in Thonotosassa (Media should meet at the main entrance to be escorted back to the fire line.)

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 10:30 a.m. (Weather permitting– we will confirm with media before the event.)

WHY: The Florida Cabinet has designated the fourth Sunday in January as the start of Prescribed Fire Awareness Week to educate the public on the role fire plays in Florida’s natural systems.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 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 35,000 acres each year.

 

 

 

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District’s Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve Closed from Dusk until Dawn for Hog Hunts Jan. 29-31

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be holding a feral hog management hunt on the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve in Hillsborough County Jan. 29-31. The property will be closed to the public from dusk until dawn during the hunts. Normal daytime operations in the park will not be affected.

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

Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve is located at 14302 Morris Bridge Road in Thonotosassa.

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. 4466.

 

 

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District’s Hálpata Tastanaki Preserve Closed for Hog Hunts Jan. 22-24

The Southwest Florida Water Management District's (District) Hálpata Tastanaki Preserve in Marion County will be temporarily closed to the public for feral hog hunts Jan. 22-24.

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

Hálpata Tastanaki Preserve is located at 15430 SW CR 484 in Dunnellon.

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.

 

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District’s Flying Eagle Nature Center Closed for Hog Hunts Jan. 15-17

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) Flying Eagle Nature Center in Citrus County will be temporarily closed to the public for feral hog hunts Jan. 15-17.

Only permitted hunters will be allowed on the property during these dates. All 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.

 

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