News Releases

Explore the outdoors! Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area celebrates 75 years of Florida WMAs

News Release

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Media contact: Diane Hirth, 850-410-5291

Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: http://bit.ly/2EUf8YL External Website

On Saturday, Jan. 27, the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area will host a day of fun and exploration celebrating Florida’s 75-year history of conserving native species and habitats on its wildlife management areas.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites the public to enjoy this free, family-friendly Tosohatchee WMA event, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event was rescheduled from a previously announced date.

Only about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando, Tosohatchee WMA has woodlands and waterways reminiscent of Florida in the 1940s, when the first wildlife management area was created in the state. Osceola wild turkey and white-tailed deer roam here. Purple gallinules External Website and roseate spoonbills External Website pick their way through marshes flowing into the St. Johns River. Bald eagles and swallow-tailed kites External Website can be spotted, as well as flocks of migratory birds, such as painted buntings, External Website making their winter stopovers.

“Tosohatchee is a spectacular piece of old Florida. We are a great getaway from urban areas,” said FWC wildlife biologist Tom Shupe.

Participants at the Tosohatchee event will have opportunities to go on hay rides with biologists, aim a bow during an archery activity, meet FWC law enforcement officers and their K-9 companions, admire the winners of the yearlong WMA photo contest, and learn about the science behind the comeback of the Osceola wild turkey, which only lives in Florida.

“The 75th anniversary of Florida’s wildlife management areas inspired us in 2017 to throw outdoors celebrations all year long, from bioblitzes and bird-watching tours to geocaching, a photo contest and volunteer work days,” said Jerrie Lindsey, who leads the FWC’s Public Access Services Office. “The Tosohatchee event tops off our quest to get more people out on WMAs enjoying both the wildlife and the recreational opportunities. We invite you to keep coming back to our WMAs year after year.”

“Wildlife management areas throughout the state give people of all ages and backgrounds a chance to experience beautiful areas that Florida is conserving for wildlife,” said David Johnson, head of the FWC’s Wildlife and Habitat Management Section that manages the WMAs. “There are a variety of outdoor activities at WMAs, ranging from hunting and fishing to wildlife-viewing, hiking, biking and primitive camping. There is also the simple pleasure of taking a leisurely drive through a WMA and stopping along the way for a picnic.”

What other fun activities can you expect at the Tosohatchee event?

You can check out a variety of hands-on activities for kids, join Florida Trail Association volunteers on short woodland walks and take tours on how to identify native plants.

More about the WMA system’s 75th anniversary and the experiences that WMAs offer to Floridians and visitors all yearlong is at MyFWC.com/WMA75.



FWC Facts:
Butterfly watching is a fun and simple way to explore wild Florida and a great outdoor activity for the whole family.

Learn More at AskFWC