Florida Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program

Florida's Safe Harbor Program for red-cockaded woodpeckers is a voluntary program that is designed to involve private landowners in the recovery of the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The agreement is authorized between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt introduced the concept of the Safe Harbor program in 1995. Prior to that time, many landowners were hesitant to protect or enhance endangered species habitat, due to concerns that they might attract endangered species and then be subject to legal restrictions under the Endangered Species Act.

By entering Florida's red-cockaded woodpecker Safe Harbor Program, landowners agree to engage in conservation activities that could further the recovery of red-cockaded woodpeckers. The Safe Harbor Program provides assurances that no additional regulatory restrictions will result if the landowner is able to increase woodpecker populations on their property.

Working together, the landowner and FWC biologists develop a Safe Harbor Management Agreement. FWC also provides information on cost-share programs to help offset the cost of necessary land management actions. In exchange, landowners receive assurances they will incur no additional ESA responsibilities if the number if red-cockaded woodpeckers increases.

Safe Harbor Management Agreements are voluntary and can be canceled with 60-days' notice. They can extend for any length of time, although long term agreements are encouraged. If the property is sold, agreements also may be transferred to the new owner.

Contact Florida Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program

REMINDER: This listing is a free service of LandCAN.
Florida Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program is not employed by or affiliated with the Land Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.

Contact Florida Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program

Tom Ostertag
Listed Species Conservation Ecologist
600 S. Meridian St.
Tallahassee, Florida  32311
Phone: (850) 488-3831


Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Florida

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