News Releases

Help plan the future of Platt Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area

News Release

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Media contact: Diane Hirth, 850-410-5291; Gary Morse, 863-648-3852

A 10-year plan for the Platt Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area will be presented at a public hearing in Highlands County on Thursday, May 5.

People are invited to attend the 7 p.m. public hearing at the Sebring Civic Center, 355 W. Center Ave., in Sebring.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff will present the draft land management plan for the FWC-managed Platt Branch WEA, and people will be encouraged to comment and ask questions. For more information on the upcoming local public hearing, go to and select “Terrestrial Programs” then “Management Plans.”

The Platt Branch WEA is about 16 miles south of the town of Lake Placid. The WEA is near the northern boundary of the Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area and within the upper reaches of the Fisheating Creek Basin in southern Highlands County.

People come to the WEA for recreational activities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, bird watching, nature study and geocaching (with placement of caches by permit only).

The WEA is home to threatened and endangered species such as the gopher tortoise, Florida scrub jay and red-cockaded woodpecker. It includes a diversity of native wildlife habitats such as scrub, hammock, flatwoods, marshes and swamps.

“The Platt Branch WEA was purchased to ensure the preservation of fish and wildlife resources, other natural and cultural resources, and for fish- and wildlife-based public outdoor recreation,” said Dylan Imlah, FWC land conservation planner. “This draft plan will specify how we intend to do that.”

All lands owned by the State of Florida that were donated or purchased with public funds for conservation must have a management plan that ensures the property will be managed in a manner consistent with the intended purposes of the donation or purchase. Hunting and fishing regulations are not included in this plan or meeting; those are addressed through a separate public process.

To obtain a copy of the land management prospectus for Platt Branch WEA, call Sarah Pierce at 850-487-7063 or email

For more information and background on management plans and their goals, visit and select “Terrestrial Conservation Programs” then “Management Plans.”

For more on the Platt Branch WEA, go to and select “Wildlife Viewing” then “Wildlife Management Areas.”

FWC Facts:
Vessels operating in Florida waters must follow U.S. Coast Guard requirements for marine sanitation devices, where applicable.

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