Wildlands Conservation’s Easements and Holdings
Ancient Islands Conservation Bank: Located in eastern Polk County on the Lake Wales Ridge. Manage scrub for sand skinks. This bank is located on Flaming Arrow Boy Scout Camp, one of the Lake Wales Ridge’s largest remaining properties in private ownership that is dominated by natural habitat. Wildlands is in the process of enhancing this scrub habitat by removing sand pines and reintroducing prescribed fire. The gopher tortoise, Highlands tiger beetle, blue-tailed mole skink, and Florida scrub lizard have also been documented on the property.
Collany Conservation Bank: Located in eastern Polk County on the Lake Wales Ridge. Manage scrub for sand skinks. This site is located on the eastern slope of the Lake Wales Ridge and extends from Lake Wales Ridge scrub habitat to seepage slope Bay Swamp with an understory of species adapted to saturated conditions (cutthroat grasses and sphagnum moss). Historical aerials reveal that these slopes, due to their saturated condition are natural fire shadows that have been dominated by Bays for decades. Wildlands is in the process of enhancing the Bay Swamp through the control of exotics, the removal of planted pines, and the re-introduction of fire. Currently, there is a thriving population of sand skinks within the scrub areas. This site, when enhanced is appropriate for the Florida scrub jay, which occurs in the region. The Florida black bear has been documented on site.
Tiger Creek Conservation Bank: Located in eastern Polk County on the Lake Wales Ridge. Manage scrub for sand skinks. This site is predominantly overgrown Lake Wales Ridge scrub. Wildlands is in the process of enhancing this area by reducing the effects of fire suppression using a combination of management strategies that include oak canopy removal and the re-introduction of prescribed fire. As with the Collany Conservation Bank, this site has a healthy population of sand skinks and is appropriate for scrub jays – which have been documented in the region.
Connerton Conservation Easement: Located in central Pasco County. Hold easements of all conservation areas. Manage to enhance/sustain natural ecological diversity. These areas collectively comprise a rich assemblage of wetlands characteristic of the region – cypress domes and strands, wet meadow, freshwater marsh, and a large pond with a littoral zone comprised of freshwater marsh and cypress. Several listed wading birds have been documented foraging in and along the marsh systems and there is sandhill crane nesting potential in several of the wetlands (dominated by pickerelweed and hydrophilic grasses).
Cypress Creek Conservation Areas: Located in central Pasco County. Hold easement to wetland areas associated within the Cypress Creek floodplain as mitigation for Cypress Creek Town Center. These wetlands extend along Cypress Creek and are comprised of freshwater marsh – their water levels are as much a function of summer sheet flows associated with the rising Creek as they are the water table. Cypress Creek, a longitudinally flowing, forested, major tributary to the Hillsborough River, is also a migratory flyway for migrant songbirds.
Carillon Lakes Conservation Area: Located in central Polk County. Hold easement to wetland conservation areas set aside as mitigation for Carillon Lakes Home Owner’s Association. These forested and marsh wetlands buffer open space areas from a developing community. They host many listed wading birds as well as shorebirds including, but not limited to Common snipe, overwintering American woodcocks, belted kingfisher, killdeer, and rails.
Two Hole Branch Preserve: Located in eastern Hillsborough County. Hold fee simple title for lands within the Hillsborough River preservation network – deeded to Wildlands as mitigation for Duke Energy Transmission Main project. This forested floodplain site extends along a tributary to the Hillsborough River. Interior species, such as the pileated woodpecker, barred owl, and red-eyed vireo, are inhabitants of the preserve.
Tippen Bay Conservation Bank: Located in DeSoto County. Hold easement and assist with management on a scrub jay conservation bank. This site is dominated by a combination of scrub and scrubby flatwoods and dry prairie. The Florida scrub-jay nests on site. Other species documented include the eastern indigo snake, Florida black bear, eastern coachwhip, and gopher tortoise.