Local Government Coordination

The FWC has the constitutional authority and duty in Florida to manage wildlife.  However, local governments and other agencies also play a substantial role in wildlife conservation and management by providing protected, managed areas. Effective coordination between natural resource agencies and local governments can streamline the permit review process and improve regulatory compliance. Many local governments have created habitat acquisition and management programs, which can provide important assistance in achieving conservation goals and objectives.

Local conservation and land management provides opportunities for wildlife watching and eco-tourism, which can be valuable economic incentives. This can be enhanced through coordination with wildlife agencies and conservation organizations. This page provides some resources and suggestions that should be considered for any local comprehensive plan’s conservation element as required under Chapter 163 Part II, F.S. FWC encourages local governments to consider the following suggestions and coordinate with wildlife agencies prior to revising comprehensive plans and preparing evaluation and appraisal reports.

Suggested Guidelines:

  • Conserve large blocks of contiguous land based on wildlife and habitat needs.

  • Provide a funding source for the management and maintenance of land in public holdings.

  • Incorporate incentive-based opportunities and tax breaks for private land conservation.

  • Designate or have a natural resource manager or biologist assist planners in the development approval and comprehensive plan approval processes.

  • Create an Environmental Advisory Committee of professional biologists to evaluate the land use activities being proposed and to make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners.

  • Remain current with FWC regulations related to the management of wildlife habitat.

  • Include current published documents and reference materials from wildlife agencies in the local comprehensive plan.

  • Coordinate with FWC law enforcement regarding wildlife protection, violations, or concerns.

Suggested Reading