The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors agreed Wednesday, July 21 for district staff to continue working with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to move a gate separating the M-1 Impoundment and the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area levee to reduce damage to the spoil mound caused by ATV crossings.
Recently, representatives from the FWC and ITID met with the South Florida Water Management District to discuss various projects, such as the M-0 Canal and Corbett levee, along with other water resiliency projects. During the discussions, the topic regarding a crossover west of the M-1 Impoundment came up due to the continued degradation of the mound between Corbett and the western M-0 Canal from side-by-sides and other motorized vehicles.
“Over the last two years, we’ve really made great strides in working with Fish & Wildlife as well as South Florida Water Management on completing the levee to the east, but also address the spoil mound west of the M-1 Impoundment along the M-0 Canal that eventually connects into the L-8,” ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson said. “One of the issues we’ve been having out there is that we’ve had a couple of breaches on that spoil mound. But what we’re also noticing, and what the FWC is noticing, is there are side-by-side drivers going up on that mound, which they’re not supposed to, trying to cross over the canal to get to the south side.”
Hanson said he was approached by a Corbett area manager recently about trying to create some type of crossing there where side-by-sides could go across ITID property and park somewhere on FWC property on the other side.
“That’s only walkable for hunting, so you’re not allowed to take a side-by-side through there, but they would create a parking lot on their own property,” he said.
One of the concepts discussed is to move ITID’s maintenance gate at the northwest corner of the impoundment slightly to the east where a culvert exists.
“They can cross there and park, not on our property but on FWC property,” Hanson said. “Hopefully we can build some type of levee, or if the FWC and the SFWMD can get it into the funding list in the future. Hopefully that will include a fence along that whole spoil mound or what could be a levee in the future — those people will just go across there.”
Before he took the concept any further, Hanson wanted to get the board’s input into whether it was something it was open to.
“We would not allow them to drive on our M-O Canal maintenance [easement],” he said. “It would just be across it to wherever they park on their property. I don’t have any definitive plans… but before I spent any more time on this, I just wanted to bring it to the board.”
ITID President Betty Argue said she had no objections to the concept, provided it would not cost the district money. “Obviously, we’ve got other priorities right now,” she said. “But also, I think protecting the impoundment is important.”
Argue asked for a consensus of the board, and there were no objections.