Cyndi Gates -
Pine plantations have been thinned to encourage the growth of
understory plants favorable as forage or cover for bobwhite quail,
turkeys, gopher tortoises, deer and other wildlife. The
ultimate goal is to restore some of these pine plantations to the
historic natural community which was sandhill.
Many of the upland portions of Hilochee were
planted in citrus, although this part of the state is susceptible
to devastating freezes. The last major freeze occurred in 1985.
Many acres of frozen groves were converted to slash pine
plantations. Other portions of Hilochee have been used for cattle
ranching, hay fields, sod farms, vegetable production and sand
mining. Much of the cypress was logged in recent decades and is
beginning to regenerate.