"In our very midst, we have a tract of land one hundred and
thirty miles long and seventy miles wide that is as much unknown to
the white man as the heart of Africa."
Hugh L. Willoughby, Across the Everglades 1900
The Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife
Management Area is part of what remains of the largest freshwater
marsh ecosystem in the United States. Once water covered-for at
least part of each year-this ecosystem encompasses nearly all of
south Florida from the custard apple and cypress swamps bordering
Lake Okeechobee through flat expanses of gray-green sawgrass veined
with sloughs and tree islands to the mangrove forests along Florida
Today the 671,831-acre Everglades and Francis S.
Taylor Wildlife Management Area is the northern and central core of
the Everglades, buffering Everglades National Park and Big Cypress
National Preserve from extensive agricultural fields to the north
and residential development to the east. Although airboats and
tracked vehicles are necessary to reach the interior, the extensive
network of levees and canals constructed for flood control and
water supply afford ample opportunities for fishing, frogging,
hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing.
View the Conceptual
for the Everglades Complex of Wildlife Management Areas
(Everglades/Francis Taylor WMA, Holey Land WMA and Rotenberger