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Water-Related News

Help plan the future of Moody Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area

A 10-year plan for the Moody Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area will be presented at a public hearing in Manatee County on Tuesday, March 14.

People are invited to the 7 p.m. public hearing at the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Chambers, 1112 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will present the draft land management plan for the FWC-managed WEA, and people will be encouraged to comment and ask questions. For more information on the upcoming local public hearing, go to, select “Terrestrial” from the left column, then “Management Plans” and “Upcoming Local Public Hearings.”

About 15 miles inland from the Gulf coast, the 960-acre Moody Branch WEA is set within the scrub and flatwoods of northeastern Manatee County and conserves part of the Little Manatee River watershed. The WEA provides habitat for imperiled species such as the gopher tortoise, wood stork, Florida scrub-jay, Florida burrowing owl, Sherman’s fox squirrel, eastern indigo snake and Florida mouse.

People who come to the WEA get a chance to go hiking and wildlife viewing. “The Moody Branch WEA was purchased to ensure the conservation of fish and wildlife resources, other natural and cultural resources, and for fish- and wildlife-based public outdoor recreation,” said Lance Jacobson, FWC land conservation planner. “This draft plan will specify how we intend to do that.”

All lands owned by the state of Florida that were donated or purchased with public funds for conservation must have a management plan that ensures the property will be managed in a manner consistent with the intended purposes of the donation or purchase. Hunting and fishing regulations are not included in this plan or meeting; those are addressed through a separate public process.

To obtain a copy of the land management prospectus for Moody Branch WEA, call Lance Jacobson at 850-487-9767 or email For more information and background on management plans and their goals, visit and select “Terrestrial” from the left column, then “Management Plans.”

This year, the FWC is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its Wildlife Management Area system. Go to for information on events, the WMA photo contest and how to find a WMA near you.