Adams Ranchlands

Photo of Adams Ranchlands in Lake Okeechobee by Carlton Ward, Jr.

Photo of Adams Ranchlands in Lake Okeechobee by Carlton Ward, Jr.

critical to the everglades Headwaters Protection

Our Adams Ranch Lake Marian project is located near the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, Avon Park Air Force Range, Kissimmee Prairie State Preserve and the Kissimmee River. The property is situated within the heart of the Everglades Headwaters and the Kissimmee River Basin. Currently, we working to protect an additional 2,000 acres within the Adams Ranch Florida Forever project zone. Protection and restoration of water resources in this entire region is critical for the ecological health of the Everglades. It also provides a source of drinking water for South Floridians.

Since 2015, Conservation Florida has worked with the Adams to protect 5,443 acres. The Adams Ranch has been in the family and in continuous operation since the 1930s. Conservation Florida helped the family navigate the complexities of the land protection process by preparing applications for Florida’s Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, assisting with the appraisal process, and negotiating the terms of the conservation easements, which are legal documents that determine what can and can’t be done on the land in the future.

Protected habitat on the ranch includes pine flatwoods, dry prairie and a large forested hammock known as Barber Hammock. Dry prairie is a globally-imperiled habitat found only in subtropical Florida and is characterized by nearly treeless plains rich in grassy vegetation. Home to the endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow and other species of special concern, the quality and extent of remaining dry prairie habitat continues to decline as a result of conversion to other land uses.

In addition to being part of a growing network of protected lands forming a large wildlife corridor, these Adams ranchlands could help with recovery of the Florida panther.