Paynes Prairie Additions
Rapid Ecological Project Assessment
Matrix Score: 6.98
Size: 420 acres
Number of parcels: 21
Number of owners: 18
Number of Buildings: 15
The 420 acre Paynes Prairie
Additions (PPA) Project is located in unincorporated
Only 79 of the 420 acres of the PPA
Project was identified in the Alachua
County Ecological Inventory Project (KBN Study) (KBN 1996). The project was called
Protecting Water Resources:
According to the Florida Geologic Survey Open File Report 21 (Macesich, 1988), 100% of the Paynes Prairie Additions project lies within the perforated aquifer zone. Sediments underlying the perforated zone may contain substantial thickness of clays, but are perforated by numerous karst features, which allow direct hydrologic access to the aquifer.
According to the St. Johns River
Water Management District’s Aquifer Recharge Map for
Of the 420 total acres of land within the PPA project, approximately 38% of the total acreage is wetlands, contains hydric soils, or are areas that fall within the FEMA 100 and 500 year flood hazard zones.
Most of the parcels within the project are located on the edge of the Paynes Prairie basin. Many of these parcels are prone to flooding due to their low elevation and close proximity to the prairie. However they are of higher elevation than the prairie and during periods of high rainfall water flows from these properties and enters the prairie. The properties are important because they include “wetlands, which drain into the prairie and are an integral part of the basin, and an upland buffer” (Department of Environmental Protection 2001) (Map 2).
Calcarious mesic hammock
High impact development (houses)
The above list of natural communities is from the KBN Report (KBN 1996) and from a brief staff field reconnaissance from adjacent roadways. The ecological quality of the natural communities ranges from poor to good.
Area 1 of the PPA Project is
located alond a narrow strip between US 441 and the
A small area of upland mixed forest, located in area two of the PPA Project, is of good quality and contains an overstory of pignut hickory, live oak, laurel oak, basswood, ash, and diverse groundcover.
The remainder of this area has been subjected to more intensive land use. Much of the site has either been planted in loblolly pine plantations which are now becoming second growth hardwood areas, or are maintained as pasture. A brief discussion with an adjacent landowner supported this; he mentioned that much of the property was converted from pasture to a pine plantation about 25 years ago. Thinning of this area occurred about 5-6 years ago. The site has little desirable overstory and low groundcover diversity. Volunteer loblolly pines are present near the boundaries of the site. However this property does contain three small sinkholes/dried up spring heads surrounded by good quality mesic hammock.
This project, despite its low to
moderate quality natural areas, does provide an important buffer to
Sixty-two percent of the project
site is within the Florida Ecological Greenways Network (FEGN) unnamed Priority
6 Area. 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
The PPA Project does not fall within a 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).
Approximately 95 percent of the site is within the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) priority 4 and 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 1% of the project area is
delineated as Upland Hammock, 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 Tiger Salamander -/- -/- SU/S3 SM
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake -/- -/- -/S3 SM
Black-Crowned Night Heron -/- -/- SSC/S3? SM
Little Blue Heron -/- -/SSC SSC/S4 SM
Tricolored Heron -/- -/SSC SSC/S4 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 KBN Study noted Godfrey’s privet and greenfly orchid on the Serenola Forest site, however it is unclear whether these occur on the PPA Project area or occurred in a different area of the 575 acre KBN Project.
The FWC 2001 data shows four bald eagle nests within 2 miles of the PPA Project site.
Thirty-seven percent 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).
plants found on the
Achieving Social and Human Values:
Only one percent of the Paynes Prairie Additions Project area is identified as a Priority two Natural Resource-based Recreation Area (Knight et al. 2000), and 62% is within a Priority six Florida Ecological Greenway Network Project. The Natural Resource-based Recreation map was developed by FNAI in collaboration with DEP, FWC 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 project is included in the State Park Optimum Boundary listing.
The PPA Project is not 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 the
The property provides good opportunities for compatible resource based recreation, particularly in conjunction with recreational uses on Paynes Prairie.
PPA Project, although adjacent to
Much of the PPA Project has been significantly altered by land use activities including converting natural areas to pasture, establishment of pine plantations, and clearing of land for development. Even in areas not currently managed for pines or pasture, the diversity within these habitats is poor to fair at best and is in need of environmental enhancement and restoration. This would include harvesting of the loblolly pines and prevention of loblolly pine recruitment, and allowing for natural regeneration in much of the site. More intensive restoration efforts such as direct seeding may be necessary to restore the pasture areas if desired. Prescribed fire may be applicable in restoring some of the upland areas that were historically mesic flatwoods. Invasive plant control and monitoring would also be necessary, particularly near residential areas.
However, this site, regardless of its environmental
quality, still provides an important buffer for
Economic and Acquisition Issues:
There are 21 parcels and 18 owners in the 420 acre Paynes Prairie Additions Project. The Alachua County Property Appraiser (ACPA) shows 15 buildings occurring on the project site. The ACPA’s 2002 Just Value or land value for the entire project is $2,468,200 per acre or $5,881/acre. The ACPA’s total value (Just, Miscellaneous and Building) for the project area is $2,699,400or $6,427/ 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 parcels are considered keystone because they have been identified on the DEP Additions and Inholdings list.
The property has several zoning designations: Parcel 07220-000-000 is zoned BH (Highway oriented business), Parcel 07222-002-000 is zoned AP (administration and professional), Parcel 07213-001-000 is zoned PUD (planned unit development); the remaining parcels are zoned residential at varying levels of density. The entire Project has a Future Land Use designation of residential.
There is an imminent threat of development on the project site.
The PPA Project contains many known archaeological sites, as is common around the perimeter of Paynes Prairie. There are nine Master Site File sites located within the boundaries of the Project. Monitoring and management of these sites for disturbance is necessary for their protection.
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
Department of Environmental Protection. 2001.
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