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 long leaf pine
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.

FWC Facts:
Sandhill cranes stand almost 4 feet tall, and their call has a distinctive bugling or rattling sound.

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