U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Thanks to the tremendous generosity of Elisabeth DeLuca, more than 27,000 acres of iconic Florida prairie and wetlands habitat have been permanently protected through a unique partnership between Ducks Unlimited (DU) and the University of Florida.
The land was donated to the University of Florida by Elisabeth Deluca, and a conservation easement was set up through DU’s land trust, Wetlands America Trust. The easement will protect important wildlife habitat and natural values on the property in perpetuity.
“This Kissimmee Prairie landscape is in the Everglades headwaters, yet at the edge of central Florida’s tourism and development core and is now a permanently protected piece of the conservation puzzle,” said DU CEO Adam Putnam. “For generations to come, students and researchers will make new discoveries alongside migrating waterfowl, endangered red cockaded woodpeckers, and grasshopper sparrows on this massive outdoor laboratory. Future ranchers, waterfowlers, nature lovers and wildlife scientists will be able to apply what they’ve read in textbooks to what they’re observing on the landscape, thanks to Elisabeth DeLuca. This partnership between the University of Florida and Ducks Unlimited benefits waterfowl, wildlife and millions of Floridians who value clean water and the protection of the natural landscape.”
This property will continue to be grazed using sustainable methods, thereby protecting its grasslands, one of the most threatened ecosystems in the country. Rates of grassland conversion in the U.S. have continued at a rapid pace, with a significant portion lost to non-agricultural uses.
“Elisabeth DeLuca’s generous contribution of such a significant property is a gift to all Floridians and really, to people everywhere,” said UF President Kent Fuchs. “The preservation of this land and what it will