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Florida Gets 36th State Forest, Newnans Lake in Gainesville

November 21, 2014 - 6:00pm

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Forest Service announced Friday plans to unveil the 36th state forest in spring 2015.

In the written announcement, Putnam said Newnans Lake State Forest will offer more than 1,000 acres of diverse ecosystems, recreation and timber in Alachua County.

The Florida Forest Service is excited to provide yet another opportunity for residents to enjoy Floridas great outdoors, Commissioner Putnam said. Newnans Lake State Forest will be a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and families to discover the many benefits our natural resources have to offer.

Management of Newnans Lake State Forest will include various multiple-use land objectives. It will be primarily managed for public recreation, with new trails for hikers and bicyclists. Visitors will experience a diverse ecosystem bustling with wildlife. The forest will also be used as a site for future Operation Outdoor Freedom events for Floridas wounded veterans and will be managed for sustainable timber resources.

Newnans Lake State Forest is located on the western edge of Newnans Lake in Alachua County and extends into the city of Gainesville near Morningside Nature Center.

The Florida Forest Service is currently working to construct new multi-use trails for future forest visitors. The forest will open to the public once necessary safety and accessibility enhancements are completed. The grand opening of Newnans Lake State Forest is projected for spring 2015.

The Florida Forest Service manages more than 1 million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. For more information about the Florida Forest Service, go to

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