East Newnan’s Lake
Rapid Ecological Project Assessment
Lake Forest Creek
Rapid Ecological Project Assessment
Matrix Score: 7.51 of 9.44
Size: 3,361 acres
Number of parcels: 55
Number of owners: 31
Number of buildings: 19
The 3,361 acre East Newnans Lake (ENL)
project encompasses the east side of
The Alachua County Ecological Inventory Project
(KBN Study) known as
The KBN Study summarized the
Protecting Water Resources:
The ENL project is located in
the confined aquifer zone of
to the St. Johns River Water Management District’s (SJRWMD) Aquifer Recharge Map
Approximately 73% of the ENL site is wetlands, has hydric soils, or falls within the FEMA 100 or 500 year flood hazard zone.
As part of
their 2003 Legislative Agenda,
The forested wetland area around
Protecting Natural Communities and Landscapes:
Old Field Pine
The above list of natural communities is from the KBN Study. The ecological quality of the natural communities ranges from fair to good, KBN 1996.
The ACF Lake Forest Creek, Locloosa
Forest- Levy Prairie Connector, and Lochloosa Creek Flatwoods Projects are
immediately west, southwest and east respectively of the ENL project. The preservation of the ENL project would
Eighty-four percent of the ENL
project is within the Florida Ecological Greenways Network (FEGN); 57% is in
the priority 3 project area known as “Ocala NF-Lochloosa-Paynes Prairie-Newnans
Lake” (the highest priority FEGN project in Alachua County), and 27% is in an
un-named priority 6 project area. Of the
16% of the project area that does not lie within the FEGN, only twelve acres or
0.3% are not in
The location of the ENL project on
the east side of the county within an existing corridor of natural and
silvicultural properties that form a large connected area for wildlife and
natural resource conservation, is one of the key features of this project. The east side of the county is a mosaic of
public and private lands. Protection of this corridor is one of the best
opportunities to protect and enhance natural resource values in our county, and
more importantly it is of regional importance as one of several possible
corridors that connect
Approximately 8% of the ENL project falls within a Strategic Habitat Conservation Area for wading birds. Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas were developed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC). 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.
Approximately 58 % of the site
falls within the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) priority four or five
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, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, June 2001. Of the 42% of the project area that lies
outside of the Habitat Conservation Priority area, only 36 acres are not within
About 30 % of the project area is
delineated as Pine flatwoods, an Under-represented Natural Community. 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 Observed
Home-Range Status Designation
Eastern Tiger Salamander -/- -/- SU/S3 SM
Gopher Frog -/- -/SSC T/S3 SM
Striped Newt -/- -/- R/S2S3 SM
American Alligator -/- T/SSC -/S4 SM
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake -/- -/- -/S3 SM
Eastern Indigo Snake -/- T/T SSC/S3 SM
Gopher Tortoise -/- -/SSC T/S3 K
Peninsula Mole Skink -/- -/- -/- SM
Short-tailed Snake X/- -/T T/S3 SM
Spotted Turtle -/- -/- R/S3 SM
Black-Crowned Night Heron -/- -/- SSC/S3 SM
Black Rail -/- -/- R/S3 SM
Great Egret -/- -/- SSC/S4 SM,N
Least Bittern -/- -/- SSC/S4 SM
Limpkin -/- -/SSC SSC/S3 F
Little Blue Heron -/- -/SSC SSC/S4 SM
Osprey -/- -/- T/S3S4 SM
Snowy Egret -/- -/SSC SSC/S3 SM,N
Southern Bald Eagle -/L T/T T/S3 F,N
Tricolored Heron -/- -/SSC SSC/S4 SM,N
Wild Turkey -/L F
Wood Stork -/- E/E E/S2 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, K=documented in the Alachua County Ecological Inventory Project.
The KBN Study reports some mimosa trees, and air-potato vines, KBN 1996.
FNAI notes in their Element Occurrence data a bird rookery inhabited by great blue herons, anhingas, and great egrets in the project area
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission data shows five bald eagle
nests on the project site and nine others within two miles. The cluster of bald eagle nests around
Approximately 50% of the site is within Regional Biodiversity Hotspots. The purpose of the Regional Biodiversity Hot Spots maps, developed by FFWCC, 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:
Approximately 48% of the ENL project area falls within a Priority 1 Natural Resource-based Recreation Area, Knight, et al. 2000. Of the remaining 52% of the project area, only 3% is outside of Newnans lake. The Natural Resource-based Recreation map was developed by FNAI in collaboration with DEP, FFWCC and DOF. 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.
Eighty-four percent of the ENL project lies within the Florida Ecological Greenways Network.
The ENL 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 ENL project would link GSCA, with
“The area is in good condition. The small infestations of exotic plants could easily be removed. The flatwoods and scrub areas need prescribed burning to achieve the high wildlife value potential these areas have. This would be difficult to do due to smoke management problems. SR20 [Hawthorne Road] is on the South side, the Windsor Road [SR 234] is on the east side, and the Gainesville Regional Airport is several miles to the northwest. This is an area where alternative management techniques such as chopping and mowing might be needed to maintain the pine flatwoods community. Whether they can be developed to maintain a native community for a century or more is not known. The lake shore and other wetland communities can remain viable and valuable even if the pine flatwoods community changes to a hardwood forest”, KBN 1996.
It should be noted that even though prescribed burning will be a challenge, it will not be impossible.
Economic & Acquisition:
There are 55 parcels and 31 ownerships in the 3,361 acre East Newnans Lake Project. The Alachua County Property Appraiser (ACPA) shows 19 buildings on their parcel data. The ACPA’s 2002 Just Value or land value for the entire project is $2,595,100 or $772/ acre. The ACPA’s total value (Just, Miscellaneous and Building) for the project area is $3,118,600 or $928/ 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.
Zetrouer is the largest land owner
in the project area with 2,335 acres or 69% of the total project acreage. Approximately 744 acres of this property
appear to be within
The ENL project is within
eight archeological sites within the ENL project area as listed on the Florida
Master Site File by the Division of Historical Resources. This includes the “Lake Pithlachocco Canoe
Site” where a large number of log boats dating from 1250-1600 AD were found
when the water level in
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 council.
KBN, A Golder Associates
Macesich, M. 1988. Geologic Interpretation of the Aquifer
Pollution Potential in