Blain’s Palm Tree Farm – Project 2 – Post 1 of 5 – Gopher Tortoise Relocation

I thought I would share some of my experiences during the build out my new Palm Tree Farm in Homosassa Florida over the last several weeks.

While I spend my time in the IT trenches I still allocated time to enjoy my work/life balance which is being on my farm. It puts me in touch with nature and drives me to enjoy the great outdoors.

After working with the local county and neighbors around the 5-acre extension of my silviculture operation we continue on the project plans set forth.  First I want to say thank you to all local neighbors for their understanding around the clearing, burning and dust funnels that have been created during the big clearing project.  Just so you know, it has not all been about clearing trees and moving dirt.

One thing that is important to me is to respect the current residences that are existing currently on my property. I’m not talking about people, I’m talking about turtles. As the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) updates their guidelines and rules around Florida Gopher Tortoises and they are on the states threatened species list and it is against the law to harm gopher tortoises, their burrows or eggs.

I have several turtles on my property and protecting them is top of mind. Gopher Tortoises live in all of Florida’s 67 counties, preferring high, dry, sandy places such as pine forests, oak, pine flathills, oak sandhills, flatlands and dunes.

I hired a company that specializes in Gopher Tortoise Relocation. We used a careful procedure with a backhoe to gently dig up the turtles.  They used a blue line to send down the burrow to see its’ depth.

These 2 turtles we captured have been relocated to the back part of the property protected by silt fencing and a 25 ft eating coverage area and are safe and happy today. Next phase is getting the property cleared and ready for tree planting.

Below Michael has a adolescent gopher tortoise is his hands from about 20 feet down in the sand. Nice work!


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