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News Release

Funding Helps Ranchers Conserve Florida Panther Habitat

Jeff Woods

GAINESVILLE, Fla., May 12, 2017—Ranchers in southwest Florida may be able to get financial assistance for managing their property for wildlife, including the Florida panther.

To be eligible, a producer’s operation must be in northeastern Collier County or southwestern Hendry County—an area identified as important for the long-term viability of the panther population. Federal, state and nonprofits are coordinating a suite of technical services and financial assistance to ranchers such as building fencing and treating invasive plants.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is coordinating assistance to ranchers available through various agency programs. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide technical and financial assistance for conservation practices through its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The signup deadline to apply is June 16.

To find out how to participate contact Luis Gonzales at FWC, 863-648-3826 or Erin Myers at USFWS, 239-657-8009. At NRCS in Hendry County contact District Conservationist Jim Sutter, 863-674-5700, and in Collier County District Conservationist Bob Beck, 239-455-4100.