News Releases

Help plan the future of Watermelon Pond Wildlife and Environmental Area

News Release

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Media contact: Diane Hirth, 850-410-5291

Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: http://bit.ly/2o5eQXX External Website

A 10-year plan for the Watermelon Pond Wildlife and Environmental Area will be presented at a public hearing in Alachua County on Thursday, Feb. 22.

People are invited to the 7 p.m. public hearing in the John R. “Jack” Durrance Auditorium (Room 209) of the Alachua County Administration Building, 12 SE First St., Gainesville.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff will present the draft land management plan Adobe PDF for the FWC-managed WEA, and people will be encouraged to comment and ask questions. For more information on the upcoming local public hearing, go to MyFWC.com/Conservation and select “Terrestrial” then “Management Plans (WMA).”

Located in southwest Alachua County, Watermelon Pond WEA has pastures, pinelands, hammocks and marsh that provide habitat for native wildlife such as the gopher tortoise, Bachman’s sparrow, Florida sandhill crane, southeastern American kestrel, Sherman’s fox squirrel and eastern indigo snake.

Outdoor enthusiasts at this WEA can enjoy wildlife viewing, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and picnicking.

 “Watermelon Pond WEA was purchased to ensure the conservation of fish and wildlife resources, other natural and cultural resources, and for fish- and wildlife-based public outdoor recreation,” said Lance Jacobson, FWC land conservation planner. “This draft plan will specify how we intend to do that.”

All lands purchased with public funds must have a management plan that ensures the property will be managed in a manner that is consistent with the intended purposes of the purchase. Hunting and fishing regulations are not included in this plan or meeting; those are addressed through a separate public process.

To obtain a copy of the land management prospectus for Watermelon Pond WEA, call Jessica Larimer at 850-487-7063 or email Jessica.Larimer@MyFWC.com.

For more information on management plans and their goals, visit MyFWC.com/Conservation and select “Terrestrial” then “Management Plans (WMA).”

For more on the Watermelon Pond WEA, go to MyFWC.com and select “Wildlife Viewing” then “Wildlife Management Areas.”



FWC Facts:
Adult male black bears in Florida normally weigh between 250 and 400 pounds, with adult females normally weighing between 125 and 250 pounds.

Learn More at AskFWC