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Everglades Headwaters Longleaf Pine

This project protects 1,686 acres of working land in the Avon Park Air Force Range Sentinel Landscape and another 1,069 acres, which is in the planning phase for protection.  The Nature Conservancy  established the project area that encompasses 15,000 acres of longleaf forest as part of a mosaic of habitats and agricultural uses. The Everglades headwaters holds one of the most important collections of imperiled vertebrate wildlife in Florida and supports significant rare and endemic habitats such as the longleaf pine-dominated flatwoods and dry prairie. These habitats are an integral part of the Everglades watershed by receiving, storing, filtering and slowly releasing rainfall to numerous creeks, and ultimately rivers, that flow toward Lake Okeechobee.

This project allows for continued agriculture production and promotes water quality and quantity while forming a buffer around the 106,000-acre military base. It builds on the protected lands to the north and south, forming corridors, and benefits the Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem to the east. The project began in 2016 continues through 2021.

Everglades Headwaters Longleaf Pine



U.S. Departments of Agriculture 
Department of Defense
Highlands County
Enterprise Florida
Central Florida Regional Planning Council 
Florida Forest Service 
Florida Department of Environmental Protection 
Florida Defense Support Task Force