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Perry Oldenburg - History

Man with binoculars

Longleaf pine, turkey oak and wiregrass cover the gently rolling hills of this 380-acre area near Brooksville. Perry Oldenburg WEA was the first acquisition completed through the FWC’s Mitigation Park Program, which was established in 1998 to compensate for gopher tortoise habitat lost to development elsewhere. The area was named in memory of Perry Oldenburg, a dedicated young FWC biologist who died too young.

Coachwhip snake by gopher tortoise burrow

The WEA is part of the Brooksville Ridge, which measures almost 110 miles. Elevations within the area of the ridge vary between 63 to a high of 140 feet. The land was once part of a Wildlife Sanctuary administered by the Audubon Society. Prior land use included selective timber cuts and moderate grazing. This area is a high quality longleaf pine/wiregrass community, has a high population of gopher tortoises and is close to existing state-owned lands. The Trust for Public Land purchased the first piece in 1989, a 120-acre parcel owned by the Marsh Estate. There were four additional TPL purchases transferred to the FWC (then the Game and Freshwater Fish Commission), with the largest completed in 1995. These adjacent parcels comprise Perry Oldenburg WEA's 380 acres.