Restoration of the pine flatwoods is largely
completed at the 386-acre Branan Field. Today, gopher tortoises
thrive in the maturing forest, which is maintained by prescribed
burning. Located about 13 miles southwest of Jacksonville, the area
was established in 1989 as a gopher tortoise mitigation preserve
through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Mitigation Park
Resource management activities primarily focus on
restoring and maintaining critical habitats for listed species.
Jennings State Forest is located one-half mile to the southwest.
Because of encroaching development, the park's regularly burned
pine flatwoods serve as an oasis for gopher tortoises. Along the
three miles of hiking trails, visitors may spot the tortoises or
their burrows, and eastern bluebirds, wild turkey, white-tailed
deer, southeastern kestrels and colorful wildflowers and