Protecting the Florida Wildlife Corridor

Cattlemen’s Association Honors Conservation Florida CEO


Conservation Florida CEO Traci Deen was recently honored with the Florida Cattlemen’s Association’s Friend of Conservation Award in Marco Island at its annual convention. This accolade underscores Deen’s exemplary leadership and unwavering commitment to uniting the realms of conservation and agriculture. 

“The Florida Cattlemen’s Association is so proud to honor Conservation Florida’s Traci Deen with the Friend of Conservation Award,” says Florida Cattlemen’s Association Immediate Past President Pat Durden. 

“Traci’s energy inspires others to want to do better, and it is a true privilege to call her not just a conservation partner, but a dear friend.” 

Under Deen’s leadership, Conservation Florida has spearheaded conservation efforts on ranches across the state, furthering one of the primary reasons the nonprofit was founded almost 25 years ago. Key to the Conservation Florida mission is the statewide initiative to connect and protect the Florida Wildlife Corridor, an 18-million-acre network of green spaces crucial to the survival of species like the Florida panther. The Corridor includes approximately 3.2 million acres of ranchlands, vital habitats for numerous threatened and endangered species. Despite their importance, only 20 percent of these ranchlands are conserved, leaving many acres vulnerable to more intensive uses. 

Deen’s forward-looking approach to conservation emphasizes cross-sector collaboration to bring all Floridians to the table. This includes Florida’s ranching community, which she hopes will advance the pace of ranchland conservation and address public perception of the role Florida’s ranches play in the state’s conservation future. 

By forging strong partnerships with ranchers, she has helped ensure the perpetual conservation of thousands of acres of working lands that are indispensable to Florida’s future. Her efforts have conserved critical habitats and strengthened the bond between conservationists and ranchers, fostering a more united front.  

It is a true life’s honor to work with the men and women of Florida’s cattle industry to conserve the land we love,” Deen says. “It is another honor altogether to receive this Friend of Conservation Award. Thank you to the Florida Cattlemen’s Association,

 and to all our Floridian ranchers because without ranchlands in our state, we have no Florida Wildlife Corridor.”

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