. ., RECE\VEO ocr , s 199s At2c Eâ€¢--... .. . /.~. ' ~, .,-i ,=>=--=---. . ' l'JRM I 4060 or . _'f::l\lf2D I FLORIDA GAME ANo FRESH w ATERJjla'~ssION -------------------~~'(~~~~---------QUINTON L. HEDGEPETH, DDS MRS. GILBERT W . HUMPHREY .A, f:tl.MIE" ADAMS JR. JULIE K. MORRIS â€¢â€¢, WI! .-I I Miami Miccosulc.ee â€¢vt~nell Sarasota ALLAN L. EGBERT, Ph.D .â€¢ Executive Director VICTOR J . HELLER, Assiswn Executive Director Mr. Gregory Sawka South Florida Water Management District P. 0. Box 2033 Okeechobee, FL 34973 Dear Mr. Sawka: RE: October 8, 1998 OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES BRADLEY J. HARTMAN, Director FARRIS BRYANT BUILDING 620 South Meridian Street Tallahassee, Fl 32399-1600 (850) 488-6661 SUNCOM 278-6661 FAX (8.SO) 922-5679 TDD (850) 488-9542 South Florida Water Management District Environmental Resource Permit #47-00227S for 101 Ranch, Okeechobee County The Office of Environmental Services of the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission has reviewed the referenced permit application, and offers the following comments and recommendations. A copy of this letterwill be sent to the U.S. Anny Corps of Engineers, in compliance with the Fish and Wtldlife Coordination Act. ' The applicant proposes to construct a surface water management (SWM) system to serve the 1, 197 .5-acre 101 Ranch. The purpose of the system is to alleviate prolonged inundation of existing pastures during extreme wet periods. The 101 Ranch is located in northern Okeechobee County, approximately 4 miles north of Eagle Island Road. The site is bounded to the east by 101 Ranch Road, and to the north by Military Grade and the National Audubon Society's Ordway Whittell Kissimmee Prairie Sanctuary. The site consists of improved pasture, oak hammocks, and scattered depressional wetlands. A total of 19 wetlands (3 57. 9 acres) were delineated in the project area. The proposed SWM system includes construction of three storage reservoirs (34.2, 35.9, and 59 . 4 acres) and associated levees to attenuate stormwater runoff. The proposal also would separate existing pasture lands from Fish Slough, a man-made conveyance system, by construction of 4,911 feet of dike. About 5 . 4 acres of wetlands would be impacted due to dike construction. To mitigate for wetlands impacts, 41. 4 acres of wetlands in the southwestern comer of the property would be preserved through a conservation easement to the South Florida Water Management District. ...... The project site contains foraging habitat for wading birds, and three wading bird rookeries containing species of special concern (little blue heron, tricolored heron, snowy egret, www.state.fl.us/gf c/ ONE OF"FLORIDA'S BEST19 WEB SITES
I I Mr. Gregory Sawka October 8, 1998 Page2 and limpkin) occur near the site on the Audubon sanctuary. To mitigate for the loss of potential wading bird foraging habitat due to wetland filling, we recommend that the storage reservoirs be designed to include areas of shallow (less than 1 foot deep) water littoral zone. According to the section entitled Disputed Issues of Fact, the hydrology of the proposed mitigation area may not be under the direct control of the applicant. Consequently, these wetlands could potentially be drained or flooded, and lose their value as mitigation for wetland impacts incurred by the project. Obviously, this should be determined prior to permit issuance, because an alternative wetlands mitigation plan may be required. BJHI.JJMW/rs ENV 1-12-3 IOlnn..wpcl cc: Mr. Haynes E. Williams~ President 101 Ranch Inc. 208 North Parrott Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 U . . S. Army Corps ofEngineers Sincerely, Bradley J. Hartman, Director Office of Environmental Services . .-.,. __ ._....., __ -~ .. -......... __,,....,...,......,._,.. .fllt~~~fu, (}1 troWU.S 'J~e,.