(NSF) — Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet agreed Tuesday to spend $8.5 million to help conserve nearly 10,000 acres in DeSoto and Dixie counties.
DeSantis and Cabinet members approved spending $6.5 million for a conservation easement on 3,891 acres of ranch land in DeSoto County, with the state hoping to recoup about 42 percent of the money through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to documents posted on the Cabinet website. The land has been operated for three generations by the Hall family since the late 1930s.
Conservation easements generally allow property owners to continue using land while preventing development. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said the proximity of the land to other Florida Forever projects — Babcock Ranch Preserve, Hall Ranch, and the Fisheating Creek — “makes it even more crucial to the conservation protection of our natural lands and waterways.”
For $2 million, DeSantis and the Cabinet also approved a deal with Lyme Cross City Forest Co. for a conservation easement on 5,785 acres of Dixie County timberland within the Lower Suwannee River and Gulf Watershed Florida Forever project.
Source: News Service of Florida