Important Bird Areas

Goethe State Forest

Florida

Goethe State Forest, 20305 ha
Watermelon Pond CARL-FF Project, 4688 ha
Mostly in southeastern Levy County east of U.S. Highway 19; a separate parcel is in northeastern Levy County and extreme southwestern Alachua County.
Goethe State Forest protects extensive longleaf pine flatwoods and high-quality sandhills. Most of the Forest is part of the Brooksville Ridge, with a much smaller portion to the north in the Watermelon Pond area. The largest tract of the Forest was purchased from the Goethe family in 1992 for $65 million. The Forest receives 800 recreationists and 3600 hunters annually.

Ornithological Summary

significant populations of Endangered, Threatened, and Watch List species; complete breeding diversity of longleaf pine flatwoods species; and significant natural habitats

Goethe State Forest contains all species of longleaf pine flatwoods, including a significant population of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Diversity is 117 native species.

Conservation Issues

*habitat succession, development, human disturbance

The management plan for Goethe State Forest recommends practicing ecosystem management, sustainable forestry, and other uses. Restoration activities underway include thinning of plantations, replanting with longleaf pine, removal of hardwoods from flatwoods, and prescribed burning. ? The Red-cockaded Woodpecker population is monitored intensively. ? The Watermelon Pond area is undergoing rapid residential development, which has severely hampered public acquisition efforts. On the other hand, the Division of Forestry continues to acquire land around the main portion of Goethe State Forest; 3000 additional acres (1214 hectares) were in the process of being acquired in mid-2002.

Ownership

Florida Division of Forestry (Goethe State Forest) and private owners (remaining acreage of the Watermelon Pond CARL?FF Project)

Habitat

*longleaf pine flatwoods, *temperate hammock, pine plantation, sandhills, non-native pasture, cypress swamp, bayhead, riverine, lacustrine

Land Use

*conservation, *timber production, recreation, hunting

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