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Guidelines to Conservation Areas and Wetlands

Dear Wilderness Residents:

Everyone plays a role in helping to protect and sustain Florida’s wetlands and preserves; the government, developers, environmental groups, scientists, and YOU! Here at Wilderness Lake Preserve, Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) vested the The Preserve at Wilderness Lake CDD (CDD) with the legal responsibility for protecting and maintaining all conservation land. This includes both CDD owned land and the numerous conservation buffer areas on residents’ property. SWFWMD has mandated that the preserves remain untouched so that they will continue to serve their natural purpose except in special circumstances.

Sometimes there are instances when it makes sense to help the preserve maintain its natural balance. So the CDD, at the request of numerous concerned residents, developed a Conservation Maintenance Policy. To summarize the policy, if you have wooded and/or wetland areas adjacent to your home which you feel would benefit from human attention, PLEASE DO NOT trim or disturb these areas yourself, regardless of whether they are on CDD owned land or YOUR OWN LOT. Instead, notify the Lodge or District Management, who will make an appointment with you. Prior to your meeting, please review our Conservation Maintenance Policy which is available on this website and at the Lodge.

When a District Representative comes to your home they may bring a representative from the contractor that is responsible for maintaining our preserve. Together, you and they will determine if our SWFWMD permit will allow pruning and cleanup in the preserve area around your home. Assuming the work is approved by SWFWMD, you may then either hire our district contractor to complete the work or another approved contractor. If there is only a small amount of work involved, it may be okay for you to do the job yourself. However, you would still need CDD and SWFWMD approval because you are working on designated preserve land. When the job is completed, there must be an inspection to make sure everything is still legal and approved per our SWFWMD permit … and even more importantly, to make sure we have not damaged the habitat of all our animal friends here at Wilderness Lake.

Because our CDD Board takes our environmental responsibilities very seriously, they will be strictly enforcing the Conservation Maintenance Policy to insure we are in compliance with all SWFWMD regulations and are in no way damaging our environment. So if you feel that the wooded and wetland areas surrounding your home need attention please first review our community’s policy and contact the Lodge to arrange for your inspection.

If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact the District Office to discuss any questions you may have.

Thank You for Caring for Our Environment