Wildlife to benefit from thinning planted pines on WMA
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-258-3426
Logging crews began thinning planted pines this week at Guana River Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Removing these pine trees will improve habitat for wildlife and help restore the natural plant community on the public WMA.
In July 2012, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists began educating those who use the WMA of the upcoming thinning process so that when it began they would understand why it’s necessary for a healthy wildlife population on the area.
“We wanted to be sure folks would understand that what we are doing is improving the habitat for wildlife by thinning planted pine trees and restoring the natural, native plant communities that were here originally,” said Justin Ellenberger, FWC managing wildlife biologist for Guana River WMA
Right now loggers will be accessing the WMA mostly through the gate on County Road 210, and in coming months will use the gate on Roscoe Boulevard as they move to other areas scheduled for thinning.
The WMA will remain open to public use during the timber operations. Those recreating on the area will be sharing the main road and trails with logging trucks and should take proper precautions.
“We have posted signs on the WMA alerting users about the thinning process and directing them to the WMA’s established entrances to avoid logging activity,” said Ellenberger. “I expect the logging to take anywhere from three to six months, barring any weather delays. However, the loggers will not be cutting during the two weekends of turkey hunts.”
For questions about this project, please call the FWC’s Guana River Field Office at 904-825-6877.