New land deals in Southern Florida could benefit rare cats if they’re mapped carefully
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Florida panthers could get a bit more room to roam in the southern part of the state with a proposed expansion of the National Wildlife Refuge System in the region — but conservation groups says federal land managers are missing a key part of the conservation puzzle.
The proposed Headwaters of the Everglades National Wildlife Refuge would protect 150,000 acres of ranch lands north of Lake Okeechobee at a price tag of 700 million dollars. The patchwork quilt of properties created would include 50,000 acres purchased outright while a conservation easement would be placed on 100,000 additional acres to prevent development.
The plan is aimed at Everglades restoration, but wildlife advocates said that, if the project is planned right, it could be a huge benefit to on the country’s rarest animals. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Summit County news | Tagged: Big Cypress National Preserve, conservation, Environment, Everglades National Park, Florida panther, Summit County News, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife | 9 Comments »