Our goal is to acquire all of the wilderness of Forever Florida. To date, we have acquired more than 90 percent of it. Acre by acre we are creating a 3,000-acre absolute sanctuary for native plants and wildlife. There is no hunting or disturbing of any wildlife or habitats on Forever Florida. With the help of donations to the Allen Broussard Conservancy (or to Friends of Forever Florida, which is the “general membership” of the ABC), we are slowly but surely acquiring the remaining lots within the borders of Forever Florida.
Several threatened or endangered species line in the wilderness of Forever Florida. One interesting threatened species is “The Innkeeper of the Scrub,” the Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus). It has earned that nickname because during Florida’s many wildfires and controlled prescribed burns, other species from rattlesnakes to rabbits find refuge in the gopher’s burrows, and some species – certain insects, a frog – live in the burrows full time. Forever Florida has many resident gopher tortoises in its drier habitats, including longleaf pine flatwoods, xeric oak hammocks, scrub, and dry prairies. Periodic fires play an important role in maintaining tortoise habitat by opening up the canopy and promoting growth of herbaceous food plants. If fires are suppressed, habitats may become unsuitable for tortoises. Today, land managers use prescribed fire to maintain tortoise habitats in Forever Florida.
Gopher tortoise resources: