The Wild Divide

Ranch to Ridge – 2019 Expedition

EXPLORING THE LAKE WALES RIDGE

The Ranch to Ridge Expedition is a 7 day trek from Highlands Hammock State Park to the Tiger Creek Preserve, along a unique geologic feature known as the Lake Wales Ridge. The 60 mile path weaves through a diverse array of lands; from private ranches and residential neighborhoods to State Forests and private mitigation banks, highlighting how the habitat connections sustain the wildlife and wildlands. The expedition showcases Florida’s search for solutions to connect, protect, and restore our vital wildlife corridor and the animals that call it home.

Why The Expedition?

Expedition Map

Movie Trailer

OUTCOMES

The beauty of focusing on a single geographic space within the Corridor is diving deep into the world of those who have dedicated their careers to studying and protecting these areas. During our Ranch to Ridge Expedition, we had the pleasure of organizing a roundtable discussion at the Ridge Audubon Center in Babson Park to elevate the great work being undertaken in the region to protect and conserve the diverse natural character of the ridge and the adjacent habitats along with the wildlife that call it home.

Improvements in Conservation

These expeditions serve to bring together the many partners whose work makes possible conservation progress. Throughout planning and execution of the expedition and in the months that followed, numerous projects have been refined, created or advanced thanks in part to this undertaking.

ROUNDTABLE PARTICIANTS OUTCOMES
Dr. Reed Bowman – Archbold Biological Station Scrub-jay dispersal, landscape connectivity, and the impacts of its loss
Dr. Jen Korn – Wildlife Crossing Expert Wildlife crossings
Tessie Offner – Ridge Rangers Role of Ridge Rangers in volunteer protection
David Price -Bok Tower Overview of Bok conservation efforts
Cheryl Peterson – Archbold Biological Station The Rare Plant Conservation Program’s conservation efforts with Archbold Biological Station on the Florida Ziziphus
Cheryll Millett – Bok Tower Gardens Saddleblanket and rare plant work with Archbold and Bok
“Sticky” Steve Morrison – Tiger Creek Preserve Tiger Creek Preserve prescribed burning
Corey Walk – Florida Forest Service Flatwoods restoration at the Lake Wales Ridge State Park
Dr. Rob Aldredge – Avon Park Air Force Range Restoration work happening at Avon Park Air Force Range
Chad Allison – Central Florida Regional Planning Council Military, agriculture, and conservation land protection efforts

Expedition Team

Mallory Lykes Dimmitt
Mallory Lykes Dimmitt
CONSERVATIONIST
Carlton Ward
Carlton Ward
CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHER
Joe Guthrie
Joe Guthrie
WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST
Eric Bendick
Eric Bendick
DIRECTOR | PRODUCER
Danny Schmidt
Danny Schmidt
DIRECTOR | PRODUCER

Thank You To Our Sponsors

The Ranch to Ridge Expedition was made possible through the generosity of the following businesses, organizations, foundations and individuals. Thank you!

Sponsors

The Spurlino Foundation

Cooper Burchenal Memorial Fund

Duke energy logo

Steve and Merrrilee Nellis

AAZK Chapter at Lion Country Safari

RiverGades family office
Creative Contractors

Joe Ambrozy

Alex & Sue Williiams

Pamela Adkins

In Kind Sponsors

Archbold Biological Station

Bok Tower Gardens

Bob Evans Restaurants

Light Hawk Inc.

Ralph Arwood of Inside Out Photography

Partners

Ridge Rangers

Ridge Audubon

fStop Foundation

The Nature Conservancy

FFWCC

Florida Forest Service

Avon Park Air Force Range

Kara and Mike Sanders, 3×2 Ranch

Crews Homestead Ranch

Saddle Blanket Preserve – The Nature Conservancy

Lake Livingston LLC

Mallory Ranch

Highlands Hammock State Park

Lake Wales Ridge Environmental Area FFWCC

Lake Wales Ridge State Forest FDAC and FFS

Tiger Creek Preserve – The Nature Conservancy

Florida Forest Service

Sun Grown Citrus

Sun ‘N Lake Preserve (Highlands County NRD)

Grubb Ranch

Florida State Parks

Chabo Ranch

Florida Dept of Transportation

Florida Trail Association

Wildlands Conservation Inc.

Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park

Special Thanks

Suncoast Compost

Jerry Miller, Duke Energy

Troutman Properties Inc, Baxter Troutman

MATTCO Entertprises LLC, Byron and Cindy Matteson

Lucy Anne and Wayne Collier, Collier’s Rocking Bar W Ranch

George & Allison Wood

JD & Cindy Alexander

Buck McLaughlin

David Price, Bok Tower Gardens