fbpx

What is the O2O?

The Ocala to Osceola Conservation Corridor (O2O) is a network of forested and rural lands that make up a 1.6-million-acre wildlife corridor connecting Ocala National Forest to Osceola National Forest. The O2O is part of the larger Florida Wildlife Corridor, which is a network of connected lands throughout the State that serves as Florida’s “conservation blueprint” for optimal protection of natural resources, wildlife habitat, agriculture and open space.

Roughly half of the O2O is already public land, including two large National Forests and several state-owned management areas.

If protected, the O2O will provide habitat for a wide-range of animals and imperiled species, such as the Florida black bear, red-cockaded woodpecker, eastern indigo snake and gopher tortoise. In addition, the O2O contains some of the best remaining upland pine forests, wetlands and waterways in North Florida.

Our goal is to protect an additional 140,000 acres of unprotected private lands in the O2O in the next 20 years, connecting our natural landscape for wildlife forever.

 

O2O Conservation:  Connect and Protect

North Florida Land Trust works with 16 public agencies and private organizations to protect land through direct acquisition and conservation management.

Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, located in the heart of O2O, is a prominent partner in our efforts to build the O2O Corridor. Camp Blanding helps fund acquisition of land and conservation easements to protect wildlife habitat and military training, while deterring incompatible land development surrounding the installation. Since 2016, this partnership has prompted acquisition of over 7,000 acres of conservation land, which are managed and protected by NFLT.

NFLT partners with the USDA Natural Conservation Resources Service (NRCS) to direct Farm Bill funding and resources to the O2O.  In 2018, NFLT and five other organizations entered into an agreement with NRCS through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Through this program, NFLT and NRCS direct over $3.5 Million for purchase of conservation easements and funding for conservation land management in the O2O.

Piece by piece, NFLT and the O2O Partnership builds the O2O Wildlife Corridor. Help us protect this critical link of the Florida Wildlife Corridor for wildlife, people, and Florida’s precious natural heritage.

 

What are the conservation benefits of building the O2O Wildlife Corridor?

  • Protection of habitat for wildlife and imperiled species.
  • Protection of working forestry: incentives for improved forest management for conservation and economic benefit
  • Preserving water quality: Land protection and conservation management will improve water quality within the five O2O watersheds.
  • Protect military mission and readiness: Conservation lands surrounding military installations benefits natural resources and military training capacity.
  • Outdoor recreation and green space: Protection of a large landscape of rural and natural lands will provide room to roam and recreate.

 

For more information, please contact:

Susan Carr, PhD | Program Manager | scarr@NFLT.org | 803.295.2229