Collaborative efforts enhance District land management objectives

District employees having a meeting among trucks

Stakeholders reviewed over 80,000 acres of conservation land and traveled nearly 25 miles on our rivers.

PALATKA, Fla., Sept. 12, 2023 — The District is recognizing another year of strong, effective management of its more than 425,000 acres across the 18-county region. During Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting, staff shared how collaboration between District staff and partners ensures the lands are managed well. Annually, District staff meet with numerous stakeholders to engage in discussions and assessments, ensuring that land management practices are conducted in the most effective manner possible.

District employees having a meeting among trucks

Stakeholders reviewed over 80,000 acres of conservation land and traveled nearly 25 miles on our rivers.

This year’s review cycle included 35 individual stakeholders from diverse backgrounds that were invited to take part in the process, all with a vested interest in the various properties. They represented 14 distinct stakeholder groups, which included staff from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida Forest Service and various local agencies. Non-governmental participants were also actively involved, including the Florida Native Plant Society, Conservation Florida, the North Florida Land Trust and nearby landowners. Their collective expertise formed the Land Management Review Team (LMRT) for this year’s cycle.

These teams conduct on-site meetings to evaluate the extent to which the District is protecting such things as native and protected plant and animal species, archaeological resources, water resources and public access. They are also encouraged to offer recommendations for future management strategies that can be integrated into upcoming land management plans.

LMRTs are mandated by Florida Statute and serve as a vital mechanism for checks and balances to guarantee that land management activities are in alignment with the approved management plans.

This proactive approach not only highlights the District’s commitment to transparency and accountability but also demonstrates its dedication to responsible land management. By actively seeking out feedback from stakeholders, the District ensures that land under its stewardship is managed with precision and care.

This year the District, in cooperation with partner agencies, completed evaluations on the following six properties:

  • Black Creek Ravines Conservation Area
  • Longleaf Pine Preserve (managed by Volusia County)
  • River Lakes Conservation Area
  • Deep Creek Preserve (managed by Volusia County)
  • Lake Monroe Conservation Area
  • Herky Huffman Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area (managed by FWC)

The comprehensive reviews involved assessing over 200 tasks and objectives across 80,730 acres within management areas. Overall, all conservation areas were found to be in compliance with their management plans and the teams received positive feedback, commending the hard work and outstanding results achieved by the District land managers.

Three of the properties reviewed are managed by the District’s cooperating partners, including FWC and Volusia County. Without their dedication to protecting our natural resources, the District would not have had such favorable results.

To learn more about the District’s land management program visit