What is the O2O?
The Ocala to Osceola Wildlife Corridor (O2O) is a 100 mile long, 1.6-million acre landscape of public and private lands that connect the Ocala and Osceola National Forests. The O2O includes priority lands for the Florida Ecological Greenways Network (FEGN), and is a significant part of the Florida Wildlife Corridor. If the system of natural landscapes and connector lands is protected, the O2O will continue to provide habitat for Florida black bears and imperiled species like the red-cockaded woodpecker, indigo snake and gopher tortoise. In addition, there are opportunities for protecting iconic Florida ecosystems, including longleaf pine forests, sandhills, and scrub in the O2O.
What is the O2O Partnership?
The Ocala to Osceola (O2O) Partnership is a regionally unprecedented partnership of public agencies and private organizations working together toward a common goal – land conservation and protection of military mission in the O2O.
O2O Conservation: Connect and Protect
North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) is working with Camp Blanding to accelerate land conservation around the base to protect military training from incompatible land development, and protect imperiled species habitat. In addition, NFLT partnered with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to implement the Longleaf Pine and Gopher Tortoise Working Lands for Wildlife programs in the O2O. In 2018 NFLT and the O2O Partnership received $3.56 million of Farm Bill funds (RCPP) for O2O land conservation and an additional $9.3 million in 2020, that also includes funding for land protection and improved conservation practices on private lands.
NFLT and O2O Partners successfully brought diverse funding sources to the table which will provide matching funds in the amount of $11.4 million for the $9.3 million awarded in the 2020 RCPP providing the O2O with more than $20 million in support of conservation. We are reaching out to O2O landowners to protect critical lands and promote conservation management practices. For more information on land acquisition and conservation easements please contact Kim Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more on the 2020 RCPP please click here.
Our goal is to protect 140,000 acres in the O2O Conservation Corridor over the next 20 years. A network of connected conservation lands benefit wildlife and protect natural resources, as well as assure ecological resiliency as our environment changes and our population grows.
What are the conservation benefits of building the O2O Wildlife Corridor?
- Synergy of conservation programs: better coordination of conservation efforts among partner organizations including better landowner outreach and leveraging additional funding.
- Protection of wildlife habitat and natural resources: enhanced conservation will help more than 16 endangered and threatened species and wide-ranging mammals such as the Florida Black Bear.
- Protection of working forestry: provide incentives for improved forest management for conservation and economic benefit.
- Preserving existing water quality: Preservation and improvement of the lands within the corridor will improve water quality within the numerous watersheds of the O2O.
- Protect military mission and readiness: Increased land conservation in areas surrounding the military installation simultaneously protects natural resources and military training capacity.
O2O Wildlife Corridor Partners
North Florida Land Trust is the leading partner. Partnership members are:
For more information, please contact:
Heather Barnes | Real Estate Coordinator | hbarnes@NFLT.org
Explore the story map to learn more about the
O2O Wildlife Corridor