Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental/Mitigation Area
(Content provided by Jenny Welch and Friends of Split Oak Forest)
The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is proposing to put a high-speed toll road through the forest to access future planned developments. CFX has proposed routes that go through Split Oak Forest rather than previously identified preferred routes avoiding the preserve. In addition to the road impacts, future plans would include intense development along the southern borders of Split Oak, Moss Park and Isle of Pines Preserve that will impact the wildlife and the ability to manage the land and control wildfires.
Please sign this petition to let the Central Florida Expressway Authority and others know that you oppose putting a road through any part of Split Oak Forest AND building residential and commercial development up to the boundary of these vital conservation lands.
We strongly urge everyone to continue submitting objections to this Expressway extension via e-mail and to attend and speak at CFX Board and Osceola Board of County Commissioners Meetings.
Let the consultants and CFX staff know you want the route to avoid Split Oak Forest altogether so the 20+ year old prescribed burn program can continue and the 100+ relocated gopher tortoises and other fire-dependent plants and animals can survive.
Please visit Friends of Split Oak Forest and sign up for their email updates. You can also "Like" and follow their Facebook Page, and join their Closed Facebook Group for updates.
Write you own email or letter (including name, address, e-mail and phone number) and send:
CC: Glenn.firstname.lastname@example.org (Overall four-project leader at the Expressway Authority)
CC: Matthew.email@example.com (Project leader Osceola Parkway Extension)
Concept, Feasibility & Mobility Studies
Attn: Mary Brooks, Public Involvement Coordinator
Quest Corporation of America
2431 Aloma Avenue Suite 231
Winter Park, FL 32792
Bullet Points (provided by "Friends of Split Oak Forest")
Split Oak was acquired in 1994 with funds received through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's Mitigation Park Program. Mitigation banking is the preservation, and restoration of a wetland, stream, or habitat conservation area which compensates for developers that eliminate habitat for an endangered or threatened species, then they pay fees that are used to buy and manage high quality habitat elsewhere. This is one of the many reasons that this is so wrong to run a 4 - 6 lane expressway through this park and then mitigate the mitigation land!
State Florida Native Plant Society, FNPS Pine Lily, FNPS Tarflower, Speak Up Wekiva, South Florida Wildlands Association, Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge, Osceola Soil and Water Conservation District, and many other groups and individuals have joined the Friends of Split Oak Coalition to try to stop plans to run the Osceola Parkway Extension through any part of Split Oak Forest.
Additional information can be found on the Expressway Authority website at: https://www.cfxway.com/agency-information/plans-studies/project-studies/concept-studies/
To see the routes, go to the link on the right hand side about half way down called "Osceola Parkway Extension Environmental Board Sept-Oct 2017". Zoom in to see the area where Florida Scrub-Jays live. The noise from the traffic will be enough to scare off the very rare community of timid Florida Scrub Jays that are nesting in the path of 2 of the proposed routes and very close to the 3rd option. Scrub-Jay Island (as it is now known) is one of the only known Scrub-Jay communities in all of Orange and Osceola Counties! This park also has numerous hiking trails where you can view many rare and endangered animals and plants, and keep an eye out for gopher tortoises since this is one of their relocation sites.