Rapid Ecological Project Assessment
Matrix Score: 5.22 of 9.44
Size: 2,573 acres
Number of parcels: 42
Number of owners: 27
Number of Buildings: 12
Location / Description:
The 2,573 acre Hasan Flatwoods
(HAS) Project is located on the western edge of the City of
The Alachua County Ecological Inventory Project (KBN Study), ranked the Hasan Flatwoods 44th of 47 projects evaluated in the county, and categorized it as low, 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 KBN Study
summarized the Hasan Flatwoods project by stating that, “This is an area of
pine flatwoods forest and wetlands forest in the northwestern part of
Protecting Water Resources:
Approximately 95% of the Hasan
Flatwoods site is located in the confined aquifer zone of
While the St. Johns River Water Management District’s (SJRWMD) Aquifer Recharge
[HAS] is underlain by the relatively impermeable Hawthorn Formation which
prevents significant percolation of water into the Floridan Aquifer and allows
for the formation of these wetlands and streams. The stream flow from the eastern half is into
Rocky Creek which flows into the
Approximately 49% of the HAS project is wetlands, contains hydric soils, or falls within the FEMA 100 or 500 year flood hazard zone.
Protecting Natural Communities and Landscapes:
Low Impact Development
Old Field Pine
The above list of natural communities is from the KBN Study, KBN, 1996. The ecological quality of the natural communities is good in the wetlands and fair to poor in the flatwoods. Most of the flatwoods are bedded slash pine plantations with little native ground cover, KBN 1996.
The HAS project does not lie within
the Florida Ecological Greenways Network (FEGN). The Florida Ecological Greenways Network is a
decision support model to help identify the best opportunities to protect
ecological connectivity statewide. It
was developed by the
There are no conservation lands
adjacent to the HAS site, although the Suwannee River Water Management District
has a conservation site approximately two miles north of the HAS site, the ACF
Mill Creek Nature Preserve is just over three miles west, and San Felasco
Hammock State Park is approximately four miles south. The irregularly shaped HAS site is weakly
connected to the
There are no Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas within the HAS site. 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 74% of the site is in 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, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, June 2001.
About 2% of the NEF project 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
Protecting Plant and Animal Species:
Common Name Endemic/ Large Fed/State FCREPA/FNAI Observed
Home-Range Status Designation
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake -/- -/- -/S3 SM
Eastern Indigo Snake -/- T/T SSC/S3 SM
Peninsula Mole Skink -/- -/- -/- SM
Wild Turkey -/L F
Bobcat -/L -/- -/- F
Northern Yellow Bat -/- -/- SU/- 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.
The only listed plants found on the HAS site by the authors of the KBN Study are cinnamon fern and royal fern.
According to the KBN Study there is a large infestation of cogon grass, and small infestations of alligator weed, bahia grass, mimosa trees, and hedge privet bushes.
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..
The nearest bald eagle nest is approximately 5.5 miles from the HAS site according to the 2001 bald eagle survey data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Achieving Social and Human Values:
About 10% of the HAS site is a Priority 2 Natural Resource-based Recreation Area, Knight, et al. 2000. 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.
The HAS 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.
“The site would need significant restoration work to be a really good quality wildlife habitat area, and even more effort to restore the upland vegetation communities”, KBN 1996.
Economic/ Acquisition Issues:
There are 42 parcels, 27 ownerships and 12 buildings listed in the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s (ACPA) database for the 2,573 acre HAS Project. The ACPA’s 2002 Just Value or land value for the entire project is $3,021,400 or $1,174/ acre. The ACPA’s total value (Just, Miscellaneous and Building) for the project area is $3,257,900 or $1,266/ 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.
All of the HAS project lies in the
unincorporated area of
The Alachua Wade, Inc. parcels should be investigated for their suitability as keystone parcels, 02900-000-000-112.05 acres, 05601-000-000-331.15 acres, 05403-000-000-392.51 acres, and 02895-000-000-157.65 acres.
While there are no archeological sites within the HAS property, there are ten Florida Master Site Files sites within two miles of the Project area according to the Florida Division of Historical Resources data base.
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.
KBN, A Golder Associates Company. 1996.
Macesich, M. 1988.
Geologic Interpretation of the Aquifer Pollution Potential in