Help plan the future of Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will present a 10-year management plan for the Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area at a virtual public hearing on Thursday, March 11. All members of the public are invited to attend the 7 p.m. ET hearing via Adobe Connect. FWC staff will present the draft land management plan for the WEA and those in attendance will have the opportunity to comment and ask questions.

The meeting can be accessed via: fwc.adobeconnect.com/arweapublichearing. Attendees are asked to sign in as a guest and make sure their speakers are turned on.

The Apalachicola River WEA encompasses approximately 78,020 acres in Franklin and Gulf counties, and offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation including hunting, fishing, primitive camping, hiking, biking and horseback riding.

A mosaic of natural communities can be found on the Apalachicola River WEA, including mesic flatwoods, floodplain swamp and bottomland forest, which provide important habitat for species including gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus), little blue herons (Egretta caerulea) and alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii). The area is also important for land connectivity and protects the floodplain of the lower Apalachicola River.

“The Apalachicola River WEA was purchased to ensure the preservation of fish, wildlife, and other natural and cultural resources for future generations and to provide fish- and wildlife-based outdoor recreation opportunities to the public,” said Hannah Klein, FWC Land Conservation Planner. “This draft plan will specify how we intend to accomplish that goal.”

To obtain a copy of the land management prospectus for the Apalachicola River WEA, call Hannah Klein at 850-487-9767 or email Hannah.Klein@MyFWC.com.

For more information and background on management plans and their goals, visit MyFWC.com/Conservation and select “Terrestrial Conservation” then “Management.”

Hunting and fishing regulations are not included in this plan or meeting; those are addressed through a separate public process. For more information about hunting and fishing regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Hunting and click on “Interactive Hunting Regulations.”