Conservation

L to R Karen Jusseaume, Jim Stephenson, Lee Amos, Steve Black, Ray Jusseaume, Cathy Davis, Deb Comeau, Debi Osborne

On May 6, 2020 after months of negotiations to insure that the interests of our members are best served, MCAS president Ray Jusseaume signed the contract assigning a Conservation Easement to the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

Under the terms of the contract, Felts Preserve must remain a preserve forever. There has been a tremendous surge of property being sold for both residential and commercial uses around the preserve. This will, in time, drive more and more wildlife into the preserve as well as bring more and more visitors. The Foundation has already started to help us in our ongoing battle with invasive plant varieties and is giving us advice on both land and water management on the property. Our partnership is starting out on a high note! Your Board of Directors welcome the Foundation to Felts Preserve.

Karen and Jim Watch as Ray Signs Felts Preserve into the future.

Monthly Conservation Roundup

State Level: Land Trust Group receives $9.4 Million for land acquisition

The North Florida Land Trust received $9.4 Million in federal funds to protect 1.6 million acres in the O2O project. The O2O project is the conservation initiative to create a wildlife corridor between Ocala National Forest and Osceola National Forest. The critical wildlife this will help move between lands include Black Bears, Gopher Tortoises, and Indigo Snakes. See the full article hear: https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200417/north-florida-land-trust-receives-94-million-for-o2o-wildlife-corridor

County Level: 6,000+ acres preserved

Orange Hammock Wildlife Management Area, is the new designated name for the recently purchased 6,000 acre ranch in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Gov. Ron DeSantis just approved teh purchase from the Florida Forever funds and outlined the importance of this site to the Myakka River watershed. This new conservation area will be managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. See the full article here: https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article239952643.html

State Level: $140,000 donated to save the endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow

The Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida has just awarded $140,000 to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and White Oak Conservation Foundation. This money will help monitor the recently 105 juvenile Florida grasshopper sparrows released this past year, and fund the captive breeding program to have another successful year! Before this release there was only 30 known breeding pair in the wild. See the full article: https://naples.floridaweekly.com/articles/floridas-most-endangered-bird-receives-critical-support/