Hilochee Will Be Topic Thursday

Mike Blondin, who oversees Hilochee Wildlife Management Area in Polk and Lake counties, will be the guest speaker at the next meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at Circle B Bar Reserve.

The Polk section of Hilochee, known as the Osprey Unit, lies between County Road 557 and U.S. 27 along Interstate 4 in the Green Swamp Area of Critical Concern .

The property was originally planned to be developed into an industrial park.

There is seasonal hunting here. The site is open all year for day use for hiking, nature study, bicycling, bank fishing and horseback riding.

One of the issues raised in the latest review of the property’s management plan is what options there are for increasing public recreational access and increasing parking for day use.

Wildlife on the site includes Sandhill Cranes, Gopher Tortoise, Wild Turkey, various wading birds and a number of songbirds. Hilochee also has a good butterfly population.

The property, along with other conservation lands, was unsuccessfully proposed for surplussing by state officials a few years ago, but it remained in public ownership.

Posted in Group Conservation Issues.