DeSantis, Florida Cabinet Approve Land Deals

Dan Conservation, Florida


(NSF/TALLAHASSEE, FL/March 13, 2023) — Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet on Monday approved plans to spend more than $46 million to help keep from development 21,000 acres in five counties. The deals included two land purchases under the Florida Forever program and acquiring three conservation easements, which will allow landowners to continue cattle and hunting operations in exchange for shielding the land from commercial or residential projects.

The largest deal involves spending about $18.1 million to buy 12,439 acres in Liberty County. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is expected to manage the land for outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. The land will be purchased from Tupelo AG LLC through the Florida Forever program.

The other outright purchase involves spending $6.08 million to acquire 1,506 acres within the Wolfe Creek Forest in Santa Rosa County. All but $71,000 of the purchase price is expected to be picked up by the federal government, as the land abuts Whiting Field Naval Air Station.

The conservation easements, meanwhile, are within areas designated for a planned statewide wildlife corridor. They involve spending $12.8 million for 4,222 acres in central Osceola County; $5.621 million for 1,611 acres in Manatee County; and $4 million for 1,285 acres in southwestern Highlands County.

News Service of Florida