Nowicki family has donated the property for conservation
Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 28, 2017 – North Florida Land Trust has acquired a donation of more than 522 acres of land along the Ocala to Osceola, or O2O, wildlife corridor.
The property is located between 441 and the western boundary of the Osceola National Forest, just two miles south of the Florida-Georgia border in White Springs, FL in Columbia County. The land was donated to NFLT by Rebecca Carter Nowicki in memory of John Michael Carter.
“We are thankful to the Nowicki family for giving us this property which has significant conservation value,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “The property is within the O2O corridor and is a major conservation initiative for us. Our team, led by Dr. Susan Carr, has been focusing on preserving property within this nationally critical wildlife passage, which is home to many species, including the black bear. Dr. Carr and our Stewardship Director Elizabeth Guthrie witnessed evidence of the black bears’ presence during their assessment of the land.”
The land, now owned by NFLT, consists of forested wetlands including bay swamp and scrub-shrub wetlands. It borders the Osceola National Forest and is adjacent to the United States Forest Service’s North Sandlin Bay Ecosystem Restoration project, which is focused on restoring the longleaf pine ecosystem, the native plant and animal species associated with that ecosystem, and reducing the wildfire risk.
The O2O corridor stretches from the Ocala National Forest to the Osceola National Forest and eventually to the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. The passage provides habitat connectivity for the black bear, along with endangered species like the red-cockaded woodpecker, indigo snakes and gopher tortoises. In total, there are 34 federally threatened and endangered species, and three disappearing habitat types within the O2O.
More information on the O2O corridor can be seen in a video produced by students from the North American Nature Photography Association’s College Program (NANPA) with the assistance of NFLT staff. The video can be seen at https://vimeo.com/207243255.
About North Florida Land Trust
North Florida Land Trust is a non-profit organization who serves as a champion of environmental protection primarily in Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Union and Volusia counties. NFLT was founded in 1999 and has protected thousands of acres of environmentally significant land including property at Big Talbot Island, the River Branch Preserve, Pumpkin Hill State Park, Moccasin Slough, along the St. Mary’s River and other valued natural areas predominantly in Northeast Florida. NFLT is funded largely by private and corporate contributions and works closely with private landowners and other public agencies at all levels of government, not-for-profit partners, and foundations. For more information, visit www.northfloridalandtrust.org.