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Politics

Cabinet Approves Purchase of 11,000 Acres to Protect 10 Springs, and More

October 25, 2016 - 6:15pm
St. Marks River Preserve State Park
St. Marks River Preserve State Park

Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet agreed Tuesday to purchase the multi-faceted 11,027-acre Horn Spring property, located within Leon and Jefferson counties.

The property is a major wildlife corridor connecting St. Marks River Preserve State Park, Fanlew Preserve, Aucilla Wildlife Management Area and Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park. 

Major benefit of the project is that it will protect water resources, with 10 known springs on the property, says the Department of Environmental Protection. And it will protect 12 known historic sites, plus provide a variety of public recreational and educational opportunities.

"Acquiring the Horn Spring property is a prime example of efforts to focus taxpayer resources on projects that provide a direct benefit to the environment and local communities," said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson. "This is the largest Florida Forever acquisition since 2006, and it will provide numerous benefits to our springs while offering recreation for Floridians and visitors."

The property is located within the Upper St. Marks River Corridor Florida Forever Project, ranked No. 9 in the Florida Forever Critical Natural Lands project category, and the St. Joe Timberland-St. Marks Springs site Florida Forever project, ranked No. 3 in the Florida Forever Climate Change Lands project category. The ranking was approved by the Board of Trustees on April 26, 2016. The property will be purchased from Natural Bridge Timberlands, LLC, a subsidiary of AgReserves, Inc.

After the Cabinet action, several state agency and environmental leaders came forward to praise the purchase.

"As farmers and ranchers, we look to the long term in everything we do," said Don Sleight, CEO, AgReserves, Inc. "That this land will be preserved in perpetuity for future generations to enjoy is especially gratifying for us. We are glad to see the ecological treasures on this property come under the ownership and care of Florida Forever."

The southern portion of Horn Spring will be added to the existing Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park and will be managed by the Florida Park Service. The northern portion of Horn Spring will be managed by the Northwest Florida Water Management District in coordination with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"The District appreciates the efforts by Governor Scott and DEP to further protect and preserve special places like this in northwest Florida," said Brett Cyphers, executive director of the Northwest Florida Water Management District. "We look forward to working with DEP and FWC for the long-term preservation of this vital natural resource."

"This acquisition presents an unparalleled opportunity to assist in the protection of the tremendous natural resources of the St. Marks River ecosystem," said Greg Knecht, director of land protection for the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. "I applaud the state for their work to protect wildlife habitat and preserve water quality in this vital area of northwest Florida."

"Natural Bridge is among Florida's most valuable conservation lands. We commend the state's efforts to protect the river and springs for the benefit of people and wildlife," said Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida.  

"The board and staff of Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy support this project," said George Willson, Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy board member. "It is a remarkable water resource and river habitat conservation action by DEP and the private landowner which preserves a regionally significant hydrologic corridor from the Red Hills of Tallahassee to tidewater."

Comments

Looks like all the UN ngos came out for this one. Now think about this. Who is the private landowner? Shady deals here for sure. "It is a remarkable water resource and river habitat conservation action by DEP and the private landowner which preserves a regionally significant hydrologic corridor from the Red Hills of Tallahassee to tidewater." Very dangerous move for Floridians. Pretty soon most land will be locked up and people locked out of using private property as they wish. This was a private deal set up by Nature Conservancy, I have no doubt , to have private individual buy land and then set it up to go under "conservation easement". Take a look at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The Wildlands Act and Man in the Biosphere Parks , this follows suit, all set up to move the boundaries of corridors eventually connecting them to re-wild most of the state. Where will you be able to farm or live when all is complete? check it out on you tube .

DEBRA - Are you even a citizen, do you even vote? . . . . . . if so, then you will remember in 2014, an overwhelming 75% of Florida's voters voted to pass Constitutional Amendment 1 to fund the "LAND ACQUISITION TRUST FUND" to buy land throughout Florida . . . . where were you - one of the minority 25% . . . . . or a non-voter? . . . . . . . . . this overwhelming will of the people (Republicans, Democrats and Independents) has been placed into law . . . . . . as to the many incorrect statements in your viewpoint, let's just take one opinion statement among the many other easily demonstrated to be false factual statements about the deal --> "and people locked out of using private property as they wish" . . . . . . so you're saying if a private landowner desires to sell his land to the government for the longtime preservation/conservation of those lands, his will to sell his land should be thwarted because you just don't like it, correct --> "As farmers and ranchers, we look to the long term in everything we do," said Don Sleight, CEO, AgReserves, Inc. "That this land will be preserved in perpetuity for future generations to enjoy is especially gratifying for us. We are glad to see the ecological treasures on this property come under the ownership and care of Florida Forever." . . . . . . please, please, take some time and go grow up away from UN conspiracy theories and get an actual education before you attempt to speak out about issues you obviously know almost NOTHING about . . . . . . . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . . .

Three cheers for this one! Was it really the Florida Legislature? Were any of their children kidnapped to make them do something sane?

Comments are now closed.

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