T.L. Weeks Oakey Woods
Rapid Ecological Project Assessment
Matrix Score: 5.02 of 9.44
Size: 14 acres
Number of parcels: 1
Number of owners: 1
Number of buildings: 0
The 14-acre T.L. Weeks Oakey Woods
(TWO) Project is located in unincorporated
Protecting Water Resources:
According to the Florida Geologic
Survey Open File Report 21 (Macesich, 1988), 100% of the T.L. Weeks Oakey Woods
Tract project is located within the confined aquifer zone of
According to the St. Johns River
Water Management District’s Aquifer Recharge Map for
Of the 14 acres of land within the T.L. Weeks Oakey Woods Tract project, approximately 21% of the total acreage are wetlands, contain hydric soils, or are areas that fall within the FEMA 100 and 500-year flood hazard zone.
The T.L. Weeks Oakey Woods Tract
project is located in the drainage basin of an unnamed creek, which flows into
Protecting Natural Communities and Landscapes:
The above list of natural communities is from a brief staff field reconnaissance from adjacent roadways and from aerial photographic interpretation. Other natural communities may exist on the property, but these could not be determined from the site visit. The ecological quality of the upland mixed forest is good. It consists of a closed canopy forest dominated by sweetgum, pignut hickory, and laurel oak. Other overstory species included spruce pine, southern magnolia, and water oak. There was evidence of southern pine beetle infestation, with several dead standing pines and a few pines that were cut and left onsite.
Midstory species noted from the roadways included basswood, eastern hophornbeam, laurel cherry, black cherry, winged elm, parsley haw, and cedar. The understory, as noted from the road, consisted primarily of poison ivy, Virginia creeper, grapevine and smilax.
The TWO Project is not located
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
The TWO 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 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)
The project site does not contain
any designated Under-represented Natural Communities. Under-represented Natural
Communities are those natural
community types that were inadequately represented on conservation lands in
The TWO Project is a small, fairly diverse parcel that is currently isolated from other conservation areas. However it is located in a very rural area of the County, which may provide for greater sustainability of the natural resource values of the site.
Protecting Plant and Animal Species:
Common Name Endemic/ Large Fed/State FCREPA/FNAI Observed
Home-Range Status Designation
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake -/- -/- -/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.
The FWC 2001 data shows no bald eagle nests within nine miles of the TWO Project site.
Thirty-four 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).
No exotic plants were seen on the TWO site from the road. However the property to the north of the project has large amounts of loquat, and pasture grasses could invade from surrounding pastures.
Achieving Social and Human Values:
The TWO Project area is not identified as a Priority Natural Resource-based Recreation Area (Knight et al. 2000), nor as a 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 TWO 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 property provides limited opportunities for compatible resource based recreation, particularly due to its small size.
The TWO Project is currently in good condition and in need of little active management. Monitoring for invasive plants and minimizing detrimental human activities (i.e. dumping), are the main management issues to contend with on the site.
Economic and Acquisition Issues:
There is one parcel and one owner of the 14-acre T.L. Weeks Oakey Woods Project. The Alachua County Property Appraiser (ACPA) shows no buildings on the project site. The ACPA’s 2002 Just Value or land value for the entire project is $11,000 or $779/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 property is zoned Agriculture and has a Future Land Use Designation of Rural Agriculture. There is little threat of development on the project site.
The TWO Project contains no known archaeological or historical sites.
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