Tuesday, August 21, 2018

FWC hosting Deer Manager 101 course in Wakulla County

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting a Deer Manager 101 course for private landowners within five counties in northwest Florida.
The course, offered by the FWC’s Landowner Assistance Program, will be held on Thursday, Aug. 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wakulla Environmental Institute, 170 Preservation Way, Crawfordville. Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Private landowners from Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties are invited to learn about featured topics such as mapping your property, deer biology, deer habitat management and aging deer. Participants also will have an opportunity to meet local FWC law enforcement officers from these counties to learn about the services that the officers provide.
This course is the second of three courses offered in northwest Florida. The final course, which will be held for the western counties in northwest Florida, will be announced later.
Lunch will be provided, but you must pre-register by Aug. 24. To pre-register, contact Kay Haskins at the Northwest Regional Office at 850-265-3676.
Learn more about the Landowner Assistance Program at MyFWC.com/LAP.


Area 1662 of the Apalachicola Bay will reopen to oyster harvesting at sunrise Wednesday

Area 1662 of the Apalachicola Bay will reopen to oyster harvesting at sunrise Wednesday.

Area 1662 is the conditionally approved summer south area of the bay.

The area was closed on August 15th after water samples taken from that portion of the bay tested positive for fecal coliform.

Biologists say recent samples show water quality is now good for oyster harvesting.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that the following shellfish area(s) will be re-opened at sunrise on _Wednesday August 22nd, 2018_for the harvest of oysters, clams, and mussels. In this context, shellfish does not include scallops, shrimp, or crabs.

#1662 Apalachicola Bay CA Summer South_Shellfish Harvest Area
Basis for action: 
Fecal coliform results indicate that water quality meets NSSP standards as defined in Chapter 5L-1.003, Florida Administrative Code

The re-opening of the waters is in compliance with the management plan.  If you have any further questions concerning the closure of shellfish harvesting areas please contact Carrie Jones or Chris Clark at (850) 653-8317.  Refer to the Division of Aquaculture’s
Daily Status Report  for daily open/closure information.  In the event the daily status report cannot be accessed due to server problems, a detailed pre-recorded message of open and closed shellfish harvest areas is available 24 hours a day by calling (850) 653-8317.   For questions concerning scallop harvesting, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at (850)487-0554.


The Franklin County Sheriff's office is taking steps to curb illegal dumping at local recycling centers

The Franklin County Sheriff's office is taking steps to curb illegal dumping at local recycling centers.

People dumping household trash and other items that are not recyclable has been one of the biggest problems Franklin county has faced in getting a successful and cost effective recycling program operating in the county.

The problem of illegal dumping has been so bad that the county has been forced to close recycling centers at Alligator Point and Lanark Village.

On August the 17th the sheriff's department revealed that it had placed a camera at the recycling center at the recycling bins at St. George Island a few weeks earlier and had video and pictures of people who had dumped illegally.

They didn't only toss household trash but also items like car batteries and washing machines

The sheriff said he did not plan to prosecute those on tape, but would begin arresting people caught in the future not just on St. George Island but at other recycling locations around the county

And its not just that people are dumping trash in the recycling bins who hurt the program, but some people take aluminum out of the recycling bins – which cuts into any money the recycling program might make.

At one time the county commission had discussed mandatory garbage pickup around the county, which would alleviate much of the problem of people illegally dumping their household trash.

The board has not yet taken any action on that proposal – and haven't discussed it in months.

Franklin County residents can recycle cardboard, newspaper, plastic, aluminum, tin and glass at a number of locations in the county including Vrooman Park in Eastpoint; There are also recycling bins at St. James Bay east of Carrabelle.

The St. George Island recycling bins are on Bayshore Drive just past 2nd street, in Apalachicola there are recycling bins on Commerce Street.


Monday, August 20, 2018

Franklin County unemployment ticked up slightly in July.

Franklin County unemployment ticked up slightly in July.
Franklin County's unemployment rate was 3.5 percent last month, that's up from 3.4 percent in June.
Even so, Franklin County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Florida.
Only 6 of Florida's 67 counties had lower unemployment rates than Franklin County's last month.
169 people were looking for work in Franklin County in July, up from 165 people the month before while the workforce decreased by 23 people.
Gulf County's unemployment remained unchanged at 3.9 percent in July – there were 252 people looking for work in Gulf County last month.

Wakulla County's unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.4 percent; Liberty County unemployment fell to 3.9 percent.



TANNER is a 1 yr old Yellow Lab mix. She is a smiley, happy, butt wiggler and sweet as can be. She is heart worm negative, scheduled to be spayed and ready for her forever home. Some lucky family is going to get a wonderful dog!

We are always looking for people willing to bring one of our
animals into their home to be fostered for various needs. Anytime you
can spare would be greatly appreciated.

Call Karen at 670-8417 for more details or visit the Franklin County
Humane Society at 244 State Road 65 in Eastpoint. You may logon to
the website at www.forgottenpets.org to see more of our adoptable


Kite Tales - The monthly newsletter of the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife - Trail August 2018

ISSUE NUMBER 22 • August 2018

gfbwt logo

Kite Tales

The monthly newsletter of the

Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail

CWA Piping Plovers at Huguenot by Andy Wraithmell
Piping Plovers at Fort George Inlet CWA by Andy Wraithmell

What is a Critical Wildlife Area?

Critical Wildlife Areas are established to protect certain species from human disturbances. These areas are managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and its partners. These organizations maintain CWA closure signs and deal with exotic plants and control predators. 
Florida’s CWAs allow for thriving bird or bat populations. Individual CWAs are closed during all or part of the year to provide protected habitat for nesting, roosting or foraging. These closures limit disturbance to wildlife.  
CWAs offer some of the best birding in Florida, as well as protecting bird and other wildlife species. Add a CWA to your next birding trip and see for yourself why these locations are protected. While watching wildlife, please make sure to view from outside the buffer zones on land or on a boat. Check out this webpage to locate a CWA near you and see when it is closed to human activities.
A Least Tern and her chicks check out a newly placed chick shelter. Photo provided by Bonnie Samuelsen of Audubon Florida.
A least tern and her chicks check out a newly placed chick shelter. Photo provided by Bonnie Samuelsen of Audubon Florida.

Northwest Volunteers Help Shorebirds

Volunteers in the FWC’s Northwest Region braved the summer heat to assist nesting shorebirds this season. Volunteers Gary Kenworthy and Vernon Todd dedicated hours to monitoring a survey route in Walton County. Although no shorebirds ended up nesting at their site Gary and Vernon diligently took turns surveying the route twice a month. This coverage ensured that any shorebirds nesting there would be protected and closely monitored. Thank you for all your time, Gary and Vernon!
Fourteen more volunteers came together over the course of two days to make “chick shelters.” These were placed in nesting areas across northwest Florida. These tent-like structures protect least tern, snowy plover and black skimmer chicks from predators such as gulls and crows. They also provide some relief from the heat! This project was a joint effort among the FWC, Audubon Florida, Florida State Parks and volunteers. Over 35 shelters were made to protect chicks across the region. Thank you to these volunteers for taking an active role in shorebird conservation!
Leila poses with her Wings Over Florida Certificate.
Leila poses with her Wings Over Florida Certificate

Wings Over Florida Story

Leila is 8 years old and a resident of northwest Florida, where she discovered her passion for nature!
In December 2017, Leila first participated in the Wings Over Florida program after she took a liking to the fluttering visitors in her butterfly garden. After successfully identifying 12 butterfly species, Leila applied for her first Wings Over Florida certificate.
Upon receiving her Wings Over Florida application, we excitedly mailed her the Zebra Longwing butterfly certificate, which documents seeing and identifying 10 butterfly species and congratulated her on achieving this first milestone of the butterfly program.
A few months later, we noticed another application from Leila, this time for birding certificates! For Leila, spotting butterflies led to her becoming intrigued by more of nature’s flying friends. As of March 2018, Leila’s Florida life list totaled 63 bird species, which earned her two new certificates. We were delighted to see she was continuing in our program, as it meant that she had a growing interest in wildlife.
Leila is an active member of the Audubon Society and takes birding courses through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, all admirable for someone her age! She aspires to one day have a career in ornithology and is off to a great start. She is aiming to see 150 birds by the end of 2018, which we are confident she will achieve. Just this month she was awarded her certificate for 100 life birds!
If you would like to share your Wings Over Florida story, please send it to Savanna.Christy@MyFWC.com
Red-bellied Woodpecker by Andy Wraithmell
Red-bellied Woodpecker by Andy Wraithmell

Trail Site of the Month: Red Bug Slough Preserve

Hannah Buschert, the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail Coordinator, recently visited Red Bug Slough Preserve in Sarasota County. This 72-acre county preserve offers beautiful mesic hammock habitat, perfect for warblers during migration and other forest birds year-round. These trails through the forest lead to an open, scenic view of Red Bug Slough. 
Hannah arrived in the late afternoon and ventured out in search of some birds. While on a short hike, she encountered: red-bellied woodpeckersblue jays and northern cardinals. On longer hikes out along the nearby waterway, you might also see little blue heronstricolored heronsroseate spoonbills, and maybe even a limpkin!
Nearby, there are several other trail sites (Siesta BeachPinecraft ParkCelery Fields, etc.), so it is easy to spend the whole day in Sarasota County birding. But you should not miss Red Bug Slough Preserve! Not only does this site offer a pretty hike, it is also a great place for birding!
Site Address: 5200 Beneva Road, Sarasota, Florida 34231Contact: (941) 861-5000Site Hours, Daily: 6:00 a.m. - sunset
Check out the eBird list for this preserve.

Upcoming Events

Do you know about any other bird or wildlife-related events going on in Florida? Help spread the word by letting us know! Send in the times, dates, locations and contacts to Hannah.Buschert@myfwc.com for posting on the GFBWT website.
Events must be related to birds or other wildlife and must be open to the public. Examples include interpretive programming, summer camps and family programs.


  • What is a Critical Wildlife Area?
  • Northwest Volunteers Help Shorebirds
  • Wings Over Florida Story
  • Trail Site of the Month
  • Upcoming Events

The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail (GFBWT) is a network of 510 sites spread throughout the state. The Trail is a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, supported in part by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida. The Trail is possible thanks to dozens of federal, state, and local government agencies, non-governmental organizations and private landowners. Continued, broad-based support and grassroots community investment will continue to make the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail a success for Florida and for our feathered friends.

Visit our website.