Stewardship of the land and natural resources has always been a way of life on the Lykes Ranch. The company manages its land with a long term perspective and is deliberate when changing land uses and considering new opportunities. As a result the Lykes Ranch still maintains a rich variety of habitats and natural resources.
Red Cockaded Woodpecker
An example of proactive stewardship is the habitat management for red-cockaded woodpeckers (RCW) - the only endangered species of woodpeckers in North America. The RCW's endangered status results primarily from the birds distinct preference for making its nesting cavity in a particular type of tree - a living, mature, native longleaf pine - combined with the rapid disappearance of these trees. There are 11 separate stands of native longleaf pine on the Lykes Ranch totaling 4208 acres. These are the southern most longleaf pines in Florida.
Lykes Bros. not only has preserved these pine stands, but also has enhanced the habitat conditions for the RCW population through the use of prescribed fire to control hardwood encroachment and fuel loading within the forest under story. A dense, woody under story limits the RCW's foraging habitat. It also makes the stands vulnerable to intense fast burning wildfires that can destroy RCW cavity trees. Special emphasis has been placed on the care and protection of cavity trees and older aged longleaf pines capable of providing for future homes.
Fisheating Creek Conservation Easement
Fisheating Creek is considered one of the most pristine free flowing natural systems in the State of Florida. The watershed is home to abundant wetland species in addition to upland habitats occupied by the Florida scrub jay and gopher tortoise. The quality of this natural system exemplifies the historical importance of stewardship to Lykes Bros. The 18,000 acre Fisheating Creek Corridor was sold to the State of Florida in 1999. In addition, Lykes granted a Conservation Easement on 42,000 acres to buffer the Creek Corridor from negative impacts. Despite a controversial history over its ownership and usage, one fact remains; because of Lykes Bros.' past and continued stewardship efforts Fisheating Creek is a pristine asset and will remain so for generations to come.
For more information, contact Lykes Ranch at 863-763-3041.