Governor Rick Scott and the state Cabinet next week will consider four deals aimed at protecting about 3,850 acres of rural land across four counties.
Under the proposals, scheduled for votes Tuesday, the state would spend $6.7 million to protect 212 acres of ranch land in Polk County, two parcels totaling 1,809 acres in Hardee County, and 1,825 acres in neighboring Martin and St. Lucie counties. Money would come through the state’s Rural and Family Lands Protection Program for what are known as a “conservation easements,” which typically allow landowners to continue longstanding uses of property, such as farming and cattle ranching, but prevent development of the land. The program, backed by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, has become a more-common way in recent years for the Cabinet to protect land from future development. The state has used the program in deals for 31 parcels with a total of about 27,861 acres.
From The News Service of Florida.