Environmental Lands Acquisition And Management Program

The Environmental Lands Acquisition and Management Program (ELAMP) was created in July of 2004 when Pasco County adopted Referendum No. 04-233. ELAMP is responsible for purchasing environmentally sensitive lands throughout the County by either fee title or less-than-fee methods. Funding is provided through a portion of the Penny For Pasco surtax. Partnerships with state and federal agencies are sought to supplement the Penny funds. Since 2005, approximately 6255 acres have been acquired in fee simple or less-than-fee transactions..

Objectives

  • Protect natural communities including uplands and wetlands
  • Connect natural linkages
  • Conserve viable populations of native plants and animals
  • Protect habitat for listed species
  • Protect water resources and wetland systems
  • Protect unique natural resources
  • Enhance resource-based recreational opportunities
  • Expand environmental education opportunities.

Acquisition

A More In-Depth Look

Download the Land Acquisition Flow Chart (PDF) for a more in-depth look at the acquisition process and to have assurance that the lands are protected in the future for the Public and Pasco County citizens.

"The Assessments of Measures to Protect Wildlife Habitat in Pasco County Report" (prepared by Glatting Jackson and accepted by the Board of County Commissioners in March 2002) assisted in developing a program for wildlife habitat protection in the County.

Nomination Form

If you would like to nominate a property please fill out and mail or email us the Parcel Nomination form.

Environmental Lands Acquisition Selection Committee (ELASC)

The ELASC shall consist of eleven volunteer members. Five members shall have at the minimum a bachelor’s degree in the natural and/or environmental sciences. These five members shall also comprise the Scientific Subcommittee. Four other members shall have expertise in at least one of the following fields: real estate, business, or finance. One member shall have expertise in governmental affairs (with an emphasis in funding sources). One member shall be a layperson with interest in the program and the ELASC. At all times no more than three members of the ELASC may be nonresidents of Pasco County. Members shall be appointed by the BOCC and shall be subject to the Sunshine Law.

ELASC Members

  • Eva Bailey, Scientific Subcommittee
  • Sharon Hanna-West, Real Estate/Business/Finance
  • Clark Hull Jr., Real Estate/Business/Finance
  • Dr. Chris Miller, Scientific Subcommittee
  • Brian Panico- Scientific Subcommittee
  • Matthew Miller, Scientific Subcommittee
  • Maryann Bishop, Real Estate/Business/Finance
  • Valerie Van Stronder, Real Estate/Business/Finance
  • Joshua McCart, Scientific Subcommittee
  • Shannon Hayley Kennedy, Governmental Affairs/Funding

Land Management

Objectives

  • Protect natural communities including uplands and wetlands
  • Connect natural linkages
  • Conserve viable populations of native plants and animals
  • Protect habitat for listed species
  • Protect water resources and wetland systems
  • Protect unique natural resources
  • Enhance resource-based recreational opportunities
  • Expand environmental education opportunities
What happens as a property comes under ELAMP ownership?

The entire ELAMP team collaborates to envision possibilities for a property as soon as a nomination is considered for purchase. One key principle that drives the purchasing and management activities for a piece of land is its connectivity to other natural lands in Pasco County and neighboring counties. By connecting a mosaic of both terrestrial and aquatic habitats, we increase the viability of populations of a multitude of species of both flora and fauna – including multiple listed* species, such as the gopher tortoise. This connectivity also helps to preserve countless ecosystem functions that greatly benefit the environment, the economy, and our daily lives. More information on ecosystem services in Florida can be found on the UF/IFAS Extension website.

View the Ecosystem Services in Florida website.

Once a tract of land is purchased, the ELAMP Management team – made up of a Land Manager, a Biologist, and two Biological Technicians – then evaluates the property based on its current conditions and how to best restore or preserve its function in the broader landscape context. These ongoing assessments are guided by the objectives listed above (which are derived from the environmental report generated during the inception of the program), from the ecology of the natural communities present on site, and from the logistical feasibility of implementing management practices.

View the environmental report.

*Listed species include those that are threatened, endangered, or of special concern.

Active Management Practices

  • Implementation of prescribed fire to restore and maintain fire-adapted ecosystems while also reducing hazardous fuel loads near residential areas
  • Planting and restoration of native species including converting former pastureland to longleaf pine forest and facilitating mangrove recruitment in coastal areas
  • Treatment and removal of exotic invasive species including Brazilian peppertree, cogon grass, hairy indigo, Caesar weed, air potato, etc.
  • Installation of wildlife crossings to facilitate wildlife movement throughout habitats where it would otherwise be restricted by infrastructure
  • Establishment of a recipient area for gopher tortoises relocated due to County infrastructure projects
  • Active cattle leasing to maintain the integrity of natural lands while restoration efforts are prepared and implemented
  • Site security and maintenance
Recreational and Educational Opportunities

  • The ELAMP program currently provides public access for low-impact recreation at four locations.
  • Visiting a preserve can be a rewarding experience but please be aware that preserves are different than parks. Please bring drinking water and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. You may also want to wear sunscreen and/or a hat, and long pants
  • Please remember to take only photos and leave only footprints
  • For information regarding educational events please contact rmjenkins@mypasco.net (Be advised that educational opportunities may be delayed or postponed due to precautions regarding COVID-19)