Suwannee Ridge was acquired with funds received
through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Mitigation Park Program. The
primary goal of this program is to provide an offsite mitigation
alternative to land development interests. Developers have the
opportunity to compensate for impacts to the gopher tortoise and
other listed species populations by providing funds that are used
for acquiring and managing other offsite upland communities. The
FWC is responsible for all aspects of management at Suwannee Ridge
and the primary goal is to promote habitat conditions most critical
to meeting the life history requirements of the gopher tortoise,
Sherman's fox squirrel and other listed upland species.
Planting longleaf pine
The majority of the site consists of stands of
slash or longleaf pine planted for commercial timbering operations
and these will be restored to a longleaf pine-wiregrass community.
Initial management actions included thinning established slash pine
stands, clear-cutting sand pine areas, replanting longleaf pine,
and initiating prescribed burning. While growing season fire will
be used to control encroaching hardwood, other techniques such as
herbicide application and selective mechanical removal (i.e. chain
sawing) may be used. Infrequent but extensive flooding in low-lying
areas typically marks high water events associated with the
Suwannee and Alapaha rivers which have their confluence just west
of the area.