Places > Highlands Ranch Gopher Tortoise Recipient Site Phase II

Highlands Ranch Gopher Tortoise Recipient Site Phase II


Project Type
Conservation Bank
Florida | Clay County
Service Area
Northern & Central Florida
Project Size
Habitat: 126.5 AC
Environmental Mitigation, Species Habitat Mitigation
Gopher tortoise

In 2021, RES began converting excess land into a tier 1 long-term protected gopher tortoise recipient site through state permitting, species restoration, and habitat enhancement. The recipient site spans approximately 521 acres in Clay County, with 207 acres designated as the recipient site due to its proximity to the native habitat range of the gopher tortoise. The site offers approximately 300 stocking spaces.

Gopher tortoises thrive in habitats such as longleaf pine sandhills, xeric oak hammocks, scrub, pine flatwoods, and dry prairies, all found on the property. Our goal is to manage the land to be desirable for gopher tortoises and receive an approved Tier 1 Long-Term Protected Recipient Site Permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC).

Project highlights include:

  • Expertise in securing long-term recipient site permits from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC)
  • Innovative habitat restoration and enhancement designs that ensure the preservation of the gopher tortoise and its natural habitat
  • Comprehensive management of operations and maintenance activities

To date, we have completed the application for the permit, preparation of burn units for a prescribed burn, and herbicide treatments of nuisance and exotic vegetation.