Photos from Joint July14th Meeting featuring Carlton Ward and the Florida Wildlife Corridor Project7/14/2010Click here to view photos from the annual joint meeting of the Tampa Bay Sierra Club, Tampa Audubon Society and the Suncoast Native Plant Society held at Nature's Classroom in Thonotosassa, and featuring award-winning photojournalist Carlton Ward. Jr in a program on The Florida Wildlife Corridor: A Vision for Connecting and Protecting the Florida FrontierThe Florida Wildlife Corridor project was established on Earth Day, April 22, 2010, as a vision to connect, protect and restore natural ecosystems between the Everglades and Georgia. Prior to this, the Florida Ecological Greenways Network identified several priority landscape connections throughout the state, including the Ocala to Osceola greenway and the Fisheating Creek to Ocala greenway. These greenway projects have now been combined with proposed landscape connections south toward the Everglades to form the vision for a cohesive wildlife corridor. The Florida Wildlife Corridor serves to identify functional corridors in south-central Florida for the Highlands-Glades black bear population and could also be directly relevant to expansion of the breeding Florida panther population to areas north of the Caloosahatchee River. Both the Florida black bear and Florida panther are species of high concern for protection since both require very large areas to support viable populations.As an eighth-generation Floridian with a family ranch, Carlton Ward Jr. is deeply aware of the importance of land conservation and stewardship that will allow for bear and panther populations to survive. In recent years, he has been personally involved in researching and documenting the state's black bear population and is now working with the Florida Wildlife Corridor project.