News Releases

Lake Wales Ridge WEA management plan hearings scheduled

News Release

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-648-3852

The Lake Wales Ridge Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA) 10-year draft management plan is the topic of public meetings in Sebring and Bartow hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Each property purchased with public funds must have an individualized plan that ensures the area is managed for the intended purposes when it was bought.

A meeting on May 1 at the Highlands County Government Center, 600 S. Commerce Ave., Sebring, begins at 7 p.m.

Another meeting, on May 2 at the Polk County Commission Chambers, 330 W. Church Street, Bartow, also starts at 7 p.m.

After staff presentations, the public is encouraged to comment and ask questions about the specifics in the draft plan.

“The Lake Wales Ridge WEA was purchased to ensure the conservation of fish and wildlife resources, other natural and cultural resources, and for fish- and wildlife-based public recreation. The draft plan specifies how we intend to do that,” said Rebecca Shelton, FWC land conservation biologist.

Shelton added that hunting and fishing regulations are not part of management plan discussions; they will be addressed through a separate public process.

To obtain a copy of the draft land management prospectus for Lake Wales Ridge WEA, please call Rebecca Shelton at 850-487-9982 or David Alden at 850-487-9588, or email

For background and more information on management plans and their goals, visit and select “Terrestrial Programs.”

FWC Facts:
Seagrasses are important nursery grounds for fish and invertebrates, and they support many commercial and recreational activities for humans.

Learn More at AskFWC