- Located: Lake Hatchineha and Lake Pierce Basins
- Permitted: SFWMD
- State: UMAM
The Hatchineha Ranch property encompasses approximately 4,786 acres and is located
west of Lake Hatchineha in Polk County, Florida. It is adjacent and connected to the
existing Catfish Creek Preserve, which will provide for a regionally significant habitat
restoration and enhancement project – creating and preserving an expansive wildlife
corridor. In an area of accelerated development and growth, the resulting pressure and
urgency of protecting critical wildlife habitat communities has become an essential focus
for land managers.
Since many areas within the Hatchineha Ranch parcel contained development potential,
the restoration and enhancement of historic ecological habitats will not only preclude
development, but will also provide essential upland/wetland eco-tone communities. The
resulting restoration and enhancement scenarios will increase wildlife use throughout the
region, and will be desirable habitat for numerous threatened and endangered plant and
In addition to significant ecological habitat conservation and enhancement, hydro-logic
enhancement and restoration activities are a focus of the project. As a result of multiple
ditches within the site, extensive hydro-logic alteration has occurred in the eastern
portion of the project area. Historic flow way attributes of Catfish Creek had been
essentially removed during the development of the ditching system. Advance hydro-logic
computer modeling was used to assist existing conditions, as well as predict hydrology
following the installation of earthen ditch blocks and Low Water Crossings. Significant
ecological and hydro-logic lift was identified.
A joint effort between The Nature Conservancy and Hatchineha Ranch LLC, Hatchineha Ranch Conservation Bank (HAMB) is 161 acres on the Lake Wales Ridge in Polk County, Florida. The site is adjacent to the Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park (7,156 acres) to the south and southwest and Hatchineha Ranch Mitigation Bank (4,783 acres) to the north and northeast.