Rapid Ecological Project Assessment
Matrix Score: 6.93 of 9.44
Size: 17,149 acres
Number of parcels: 392
Number of owners: 205
Number of buildings: 164
Burnette Lake (BUR) Project extends from San Felasco Hammock State Park to the
The BUR project is a combinations of four projects from the Alachua County Ecological Inventory Project (KBN Study); South Lacrosse Forest, Rocky Creek, Hague Flatwoods, and North San Felasco Hammock (KBN 1996). The purpose of the KBN Study was to identify, inventory, map, describe, and evaluate the most significant natural biological communities, both upland and wetland, that remain in private ownership in Alachua County and make recommendations for protecting these natural resources (KBN 1996). The South Lacrosse Forest project was ranked 39th of 47 projects evaluated in the county, and categorized as below average, the Rocky Creek project was ranked 31st and categorized as below average, the Hague Flatwoods Project and the North San Felasco Hammock were both ranked 23rd and categorized as average (KBN 1996).
KBN Study summarized the
Rocky Creek was described as follows, “This site is a connector that consists mostly of Rocky Creek and its tributaries along with a narrow strip of stream valley and upland along the streams. It is one of the most far-reaching and narrow connectors in the county. The vegetation along the stream is mostly hardwood forest.”
The Hague Flatwoods project is summarized in the KBN Study by the following paragraph, “This is an area of pine flatwoods forest used for commercial forestry that has mostly been bedded and planted with slash pine (Pinus elliotti). There are also large areas of basin swamp and many cypress domes. The area is part of the headwaters of both Rocky Creek and Turkey Creek. The Deerhaven Power Plant is within this site.”
The North San Felasco Hammock is described in the KBN Study as an “area of creeks, ponds, hardwood forest, pine plantation, and pasture on the north side of San Felasco Hammock State Preserve. The two creeks both flow into the preserve from this area.”
Protecting Water Resources:
Seventy-nine percent of the
The BUR site is shown as having high to moderately high aquifer recharge on the St. Johns River Water Management District’s (SJRWMD) Aquifer Recharge Map.
Approximately 48% of the BUR project is wetlands, contains hydric soils, or falls within the FEMA 100 or 500 year flood hazard zone.
The BUR site contains the
headwaters for Rocky Creek which flows north to the Santa Fe River and Turkey
Creek which flows into San Felasco Hammock State Park and then into the
Floridan Aquifer through a swallow hole and cave system in Sanchez
Prairie. The western area of the BUR
project is bisected by SR 327. “West of
this road, the topography is hilly and has a creek system that has carved some
moderately steep slopes. East of the
road, the topography is flat. Under both
sides is a clay layer that keeps water from easily seeping down into the
Floridan Aquifer. However, this layer
gets less thinner to the west, allowing for sinkhole formation. The drainage of the western 70% of the area
Protecting Natural Communities and Landscapes:
Old Field Succession Pine
High Impact Development
Low Impact Development
Old Field Pine
The above list of natural communities is from the KBN Report (KBN 1996). The quality of the natural communities ranges from good to poor (KBN 1996).
The Project site abuts San Felasco
Hammock State Park and the
Fifty-one percent of the project
site is within the Florida Ecological Greenways Network (FEGN). Forty-six percent is in two un-named priority
6 project areas. One connects San
Felasco Hammock State Park to the
Less than one percent of the BUR Project falls within a wading bird Strategic Habitat Conservation Area. Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas were developed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). They are private lands containing habitats critical to the continued survival of populations of inadequately protected plants and animals (Cox et al. 2000). These lands are essential to providing some of state’s rarest animals, plants, and natural communities with the land base necessary to sustain populations into the future (Cox et al.1994).
Fifty-four percent of the site is within the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) priority 5 Habitat Conservation Priorities. FNAI’s Habitat Conservation Priorities prioritize places on the landscape that would protect both the greatest number of rare species and those species with the greatest conservation need (FNAI June 2001).
Less than 10% of the BUR project is
delineated by FNAI as either pine flatwoods or upland hardwood forest
Under-represented Natural Communities. FNAI
Under-represented Natural Communities are those natural community types that were inadequately
represented on conservation lands in
Protecting Plant and Animal Species:
Common Name Endemic/ Large Fed/State FCREPA/FNAI Noted Observed
Home-Range Status Designation
Eastern Tiger Salamander -/- -/- SU/S3 SM N
Gopher Frog -/- -/SSC T/S3 SM N
Striped Newt -/- -/- R/S2S3 SM N
Southeastern Slimy Salamander -/- -/- -/- P*
American Alligator -/- T/SSC -/S4 SM,K C
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake -/- -/- -/S3 SM,N C
Eastern Indigo Snake -/- T/T SSC/S3 SM,N,K P
Gopher Tortoise -/- -/SSC T/S3 K P
Loggerhead Musk Turtle -/- -/- -/- P*
Peninsula Mole Skink -/- -/- -/- SM N
Short-tailed Snake X/- -/T T/S3 SM N
Spotted Turtle -/- -/- R/S3? SM N
Southern Hog Nosed Snake -/- -/- -/S2 C
Black Rail -/- -/- R/S3 SM
Great Egret -/- -/- SSC/S4 N
Little Blue Heron -/- -/SSC SSC/S4 SM,N,K
Osprey -/- -/- T/S3S4 SM
Snowy Egret -/- -/SSC SSC/S3 SM,K
Southeastern American Kestrel -/- -/T T/S3 F,K
Southern Bald Eagle -/L T/T T/S3 F
Swallow-tailed Kite -/L -/- T/S2 F
White Ibis -/- -/SSC SSC/S4 N,K
Wild Turkey -/L F
Wood Stork -/- E/E E/S2 SM,N,K
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron -/- -/- SSC/S3? SM
Bobcat -/L -/- -/- F
Northern Yellow Bat -/- -/- SU/- SM
River Otter -/- -/- -/- SM
Round-tailed Muskrat X/- -/- SSC/S3 SM
X= Endemic, L=species with large home ranges according to the Closing the Gaps in Florida’s Wildlife Habitat System, S= observed by Alachua Co. EPD staff and/or an LCB subcommittee member, SM= documented on the Species Models maps created by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, F= Focal species used for the most detailed analyses in the Closing the Gaps in Florida’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation System, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, 1994, N= Florida Natural Areas Inventory Element Occurrence, P= potential for species based on habitat types, K=documented in the Alachua County Ecological Inventory Project.
Information in the “Observed” column was provided by local
experts. David Auth, Ph.D. provided the
information on amphibians and reptiles.
This data was based on a series of maps made by Dr. Auth using location
of capture of specimens in museums of the United States dating back to before
1900, and to a lesser extent, to visual sightings by Dr. Auth and other
professional biologists. “P”=Present,
indicates at least one museum record or visual sighting of the species in the
project area. “C”=Close, indicates a museum record or visual sighting within
one mile of the project border. “N”=Not
Present and Not Close, indicates all map records for the species lie outside
the one mile limit. “*”= Rare in County,
while not on any list, these species have been determined to be rare in
Listed plants noted in the KBN Study include poppy mallow, royal fern, cinnamon fern and greenfly orchid.
Exotic plants found within the project area via the KBN Study include Chinese golden bamboo, Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese wisteria, Chinese tallow, air potato, mimosa, chinaberry, camphor tree, Boston fern, English ivy, and white-flowered spiderwort. Additional observations by staff in the project area include tungoil tree, glossy privet, Chinese privet and downy maiden fern.
The ecological quality within the BUR Project varies from good to poor.
The FWC 2001 bald eagle nest data shows no bald eagle nests on the BUR site and one nest within a quarter mile of the project area.
Approximately 48% of the site is within Regional Biodiversity Hotspots. The purpose of the Regional Biodiversity Hot Spots maps, developed by FWC, is to “convey more detailed information on the known locations of as many components of biological diversity as possible, regardless of whether or not they fall within proposed Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas, to help meet the need for conservation information at regional and local levels” (Cox et al. 1994).
Achieving Social and Human Values:
Thirty percent of the BUR site is a priority 1-5 Natural Resource-based Recreation Area, Knight, et al. 2000, and 51% is a priority 5 or 6 Ecological Greenway. The Natural Resource-based Recreation map was developed by FNAI in collaboration with DEP, FWC and the Florida Division of Forestry. The recreation potential of a site depends on available road access, presence of a water body or beach, proximity to urban areas, and size of the site. “These criteria were applied to Potential Natural Areas delineated by FNAI using aerial photography and revised using the 1995 Water Management District land cover data. Sites were ranked by recreation potential” (Knight, et al. 2000).
The BUR Project is part of the
Emerald Necklace Land Conservation Initiative - a publicly accessible,
connected, and protected network of trails, greenways, open space, and
waterfronts surrounding the
The project would enhance recreational opportunities in the northern part of the county, and could link recreational opportunities in San Felasco Hammock to other areas via hiking and biking trails. Because much of the project area would be pursued for acquisition through conservation easements, it would very likely limit public access in the project area.
The BUR project will require intensive management due to the level of invasive plants existing on the property and the level that can be anticipated in the future, the need for prescribed fire in portions of the project area, the amount of fragmentation, the high edge to area ratio, and the need for restoration of some areas. Because acquisition of the project area will be pursued largely through conservation easements, it is questionable whether or not this management / restoration is feasible.
Economic & Acquisition:
There are 392 parcels and 205 ownerships in the 17,149-acre BUR Project. The property appraiser shows 164 buildings on their parcel database. The Alachua County Property Appraisers 2002 Just Value or land value for the entire project is $26,370,800 or $1,538/ acre. The ACPA’s total value (Just, Miscellaneous and Buildings) for the project area is $47,049,200 or 2,744/acre. These figures are for comparative purposes between nominated properties, and are not necessarily an accurate reflection of the true cost of the property if acquired by the Alachua County Forever Program.
The protection of the Plum Creek,
The keystone parcels in the BUR project are first to establish the connection between San Felasco Hammock State Park and the US 441 box culvert through Cellon Creek, and then make the connection to the Murphree Well Field:
Pinkoson 05949-005-000 431.11 ac
Freeland & Freeland 05955-000-000 161.48 ac
05882-000-000 64.3 ac
05946-000-000 469.96 ac
05973-000-000 394.66 ac
05974-000-000 44.8 ac
05868-000-000 822.87 ac
06013-000-000 305.96 ac
05896-000-000 610.47 ac
05871-000-000 120.73 ac
05821-000-000 165.97 ac
05864-000-000 43.81 ac
07781-000-000 871.69 ac
07813-000-000 481.74 ac
07814-000-000 496.51 ac
IFAS 05825-000-000 552.38 ac
05863-000-000 472.16 ac
05757-000-000 114.91 ac
05943-001-000 156.11 ac
05882-004-000 405.67 ac
05946-003-000 209.93 ac
05871-002-000 18.31 ac
Bethea, Givens & Lighter 05858-000-000 38.26 ac
Moltech 05855-000-000 126.97 ac
Due to the size of this project and the amount of development within its boundaries, it is recommended that the protection of the project area be pursued predominately through conservation easements.
The following parcels have already
been placed on the active acquisition list by the Alachua County Board of
The City of
There are 15,315 acres of the BUR project
zoned agriculture. The future land use
is very similar to the existing zoning.
The higher use zoning
and future land use designations are within the City of
Development appears to be moving
out from the City of
The BUR project area is rich in archaeological resources with 15 Division of Historical Resources Master Site File locations within its borders.
Aucott, W. 1988. Water Resources Investigation Report 88-4057. USGS.
Cox, J., R. Kautz, M. MacLaughlin, and T. Gilbert.
1994. Closing the Gaps in
Cox, J. and R. Kautz. 2000. Habitat Conservation Needs of
Rare and Imperiled Wildlife in
Hoctor, T.S., J. Teisinger, M.G. Carr., P.C, Zwick. 2002.
Identification of Critical Linkages Within the
Knight, G., A. Knight, and J. Oetting. 2000. Florida Forever
Conservation Needs Assessment Summary Report to the Florida Forever Advisory
KBN, A Golder Associates Company. 1996.
Macesich, M. 1988.
Geologic Interpretation of the Aquifer Pollution Potential in