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Highlands County, FL

Project: Sebring Scrub Conservation Bank, Highlands County, FL
Client: Blackjack Groves
Principal Ecologist: Dr. Jay Exum led surveys for listed species – notably sand skinks – along with the development of a strategy for their long-term conservation.

Assisting private landowners with strategies that generate revenue while protecting unique natural resources is a passion and central business tenet of Exum Associates. We believe in seeking ways to appropriately compensate private landowners for natural resource protection and enjoy the discovery of various opportunities to do so.

Mission:

Establish a Conservation Bank for listed species of wildlife to protect scrub habitats and generate revenue for the private landowner.

Challenges:

  • Complex and tedious permitting scenario through the US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Highly altered habitats with scattered individuals of sand skink, scrub lizard, gopher tortoise and Florida Scrub-jay that required a plan for long-term protection of these listed species

Primary Accomplishments:

  • Defined the extent of sand skink and Florida Scrub-jay populations for the site and region
  • Created a management plan that included a cost-effective strategy for the long-term management of scrub habitat on the 75-acre Conservation Bank site
  • Obtained approvals for use of the site as a Conservation Bank, and created a plan to market and sell the listed species “credits”

Management and Business Plans Implemented:

  • With a Conservation Easement in place, dozens of conservation credits were immediately available for sale
  • Nuisance plant eradication and biological monitoring were scheduled for the long-term
  • Credits have been sold to generate revenue for landowners and fund management and monitoring
Plant Monitoring Protocol

Sand Skink Monitoring Protocol

Sebring Conservation Bank context
plant and wildlife survey results