Email    Print

FWC Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines Updates 2023

FWC Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines Updates 2023:
On April 30, 2023, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) implemented revisions to the Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines. The guidelines are incorporated by reference in Rule 68A-27.003, Florida Administrative Code. The guideline updates adjusted mitigation contributions to incentivize relocation to protected areas, facilitate regulatory enforcement by defining roles and responsibilities, and clarify additional provisions. Notable changes include:
  • An Executive Summary section has been added to clarify roles and responsibilities of permittees, agents and agents’ assistants.
  • Named Agent is now clarified on permits and in the Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines for roles and responsibilities.
  • Disturbed Site Mitigation has been increased for non-single-family property owners.
  • Short-term and long-term recipient sites now have a tiered system to encourage additional protections on recipient sites and lower the costs of permit mitigation.
  • It was clarified that 25% of agents’ experience requirements must be from actions conducted within the past four years from the date of Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent Permit application submittal.
  • Short-term Protected Recipient Sites’ enforceable protection was defined.
  • FWC recipient site conservation easements require a title commitment instead of a title search.
  • The Temporary Exclusion Permit has expanded to include other forms of temporary linear projects.
  • Changes were made to the Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent Permit application, such as separating the mark and release duties.
  • No-cost e-Learning requirements for training on transport, holding, handling and release of gopher tortoises for new authorized agent applications and renewal amendments were added.
  • Hatchlings shall no longer be marked. Meaning no tortoises under 61 mm are authorized for marking in any method.
  • Temporary exclusion recipient areas must have a 100% survey if the recipient area is less than 1 acre in size.
For more information, click here: Permitting Guidelines 2023 Update

<< Back