ABOUT: Chinsegut Conservation Center covers 408 of the 850 acres comprising Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA). The area is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and funded by the Pittman-Robertson Program and state legislative appropriations. The Conservation center is the only educational facility operated by the Commission’s Office of Public Access and Wildlife Viewing.
Chinsegut was owned in the early 1900s by Col. Raymond Robins, whose colorful career included gold mining in Alaska and serving as an economic advisor to five presidents. Robins named his land “Chinsegut,” an Alaskan Inuit Indian word for the “spirit of lost things.” Robins used a looser translation: “The place where things of true value that have been lost may be found again.”
Robins donated his property to the federal government in 1932 to be used as a wildlife refuge. In 1973 the Commission acquired Chinsegut Conservation Center. Chinsegut WEA grew in 1989, when the Commission acquired an additional 420 acres, known as the Big Pine Tract and reached its current size in 2008 when the Commission acquired an additional 30 acres from The Nature Conservancy.
Chinsegut WEA is home to many wildlife species, and wildlife viewing is possible throughout the year. White-tailed deer are abundant and frequently wander near the building. Turkeys move in and out of the oaks and pines, sometimes roosting in the cypresses next to May’s Prairie. Because May’s Prairie occasionally becomes dry, the frequent lack of fish makes it a mecca for thousands of amphibians, including pig and bull frogs, dwarf sirens and tiger salamanders, who produce young uninterrupted by hungry fish. The gopher frog, a species of special concern in Florida, calls his courting, snore-like call from the confines of the prairie after heavy fall and winter rains.
Seeking some of the bountiful wildlife May’s Prairie has to offer is the bobcat, who leaves his telltale scat on the boardwalk after a nocturnal visit. Higher up in the surrounding sandhills, gopher tortoises, a threatened species, browse near the half-moon-shaped burrows. These are Chinsegut’s oldest animal residents, who have watched the seasons change here for nearly a half-century.
Chinsegut Conservation Center hosts many educational programs and hikes throughout the year. To preserve the beauty of the area, the center is open to the public only during scheduled programs or by appointment.
BECOME A FRIEND: Chinsegut is looking for people in support of Conservation education and Center programs to meet at the Center January 24th to learn about forming a “Friends of” group for the Conservation Center. A Friends organization could benefit programs at the Center in a big way. Hear Center goals, future plans and how you can help reach these goals in a 1 hour meeting.
A Friends organization is an independently incorporated non-profit group in support of an established Entity, in this case the Conservation Center. A Friends group has powers to fundraise, advertise and host events beyond limitations of the Center. Friends groups are made of a volunteer group of officers who run the organization and a support group of members who contribute to ideas and events. Join us for more details and to express you interest in supporting the Center through becoming a “friend”.
Tuesday | January 24th | 6:30pm
Chinsegut Conservation Center
23212 Lake Lindsey Rd
Brooksville, Florida 34601
If you love the outdoors, nature, wildlife now is the time to get involved!