TENT TALKS

Making the Case to Save the Corridor

Tent Talks Are Crucial

Understanding Why Landscape Planning Should Consider the Corridor

Our Tent Talk series began in 2020 and is designed to build the statewide support necessary to increase funding and establish a formal recognition for Florida’s priority wildlife corridor system.

In the absence of a formally recognized state wildlife corridor, Agencies make local growth management decisions without adequate state and regional coordination around habitat connectivity. This prohibits the sort of landscape level planning effort needed to sustain large ranging species like bears, and panthers, as well as numerous other imperiled species such as Florida scrub jays and red-cockaded woodpeckers.

Benefits

The series of Tent Talks held across Florida is a critical step in building and consolidating statewide support needed to champion a bill for formal designation and funding of Florida’s corridor.

Partnership for Protection

Public land acquisition agents and the private land trusts that partner to secure acquisitions and easements will benefit from a meaningful multi-year allocation of dedicated funding.

It would encourage and provide for phased land acquisitions and conservation easements to secure critical stretches of the corridor that involve numerous private land holdings.

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

During August 2020’s new moon, we spent time in Florida’s only internationally designated Dark Skies area in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park (KPPSP). The KPPSP is a tremendous conservation property within the Florida Wildlife Corridor, perfectly illustrating another overlooked and underappreciated connection, between wide open undeveloped landscapes and dark skies, which provide quiet and generous views of the Milky Way.  How easy it is for those of us living under the streets lights of developed Florida to forget just how beautiful the night sky can be.  And for that sphinx moth and scores of other important pollinators, a dark sky is yet another ecological cog at risk of being lost.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

A connectivity based approach extends beyond strict application to wildlife as well, and is invoked as a solution to address water quality, flood control, air quality and other ecosystem services.

Water issues and waterways are inextricably linked to the Florida Wildlife Corridor which is made up of both blueways and greenways. Maintaining clean and abundant drinking water, paddle trails, pristine springs, commercial and recreational fishing and a swimmable coast all depend on safeguarding the land water connection, and protecting watersheds. Our approach to conservation and growth must give appropriate consideration to the land water connection as we work to preserve the best of Florida’s legacy of wildlife and wildlands.