SWFL ranchers could get paid to help protect panther habitat

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Florida Panther
Florida panther (Credit: CBS News)

Ranchers, farmers and landowners in Southwest Florida have the opportunity to get paid for helping conserve panther habitat in the state.

The incentives are part of several programs run by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of Florida.

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program is led by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

It will help provide landowners with financial and technical assistance for projects that improve land and land-use practices in accordance with the Conservation Stewardship Program.

Landowners who want to apply for the program can do so by clicking here. The deadline to apply is Dec. 10.

To be eligible your property needs to fall within the area outlined in the map below.

(Credit: Natural Resource Conservation Service)

All or portions of the following counties are included in the map: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, De Soto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, and Volusia. These areas have been identified as essential for the long-term viability of the panther population.

For more information, you can also contact State Program Specialist Diana Avellanet at diana.avellanet@usda.gov or at (352) 338-9543.

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