Thousands of acres preserved under U.S., Florida land conservation programs By Wes Wolfe, Florida Politics

Posted on May 23, 2023

The largest of the Florida Forever projects tops out north of 10,000 acres.

It’s been quite a week for the Florida Wildlife Corridor and land conservation.

On Monday, Conservation Florida, in partnership with the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Lightsey family, purchased a conservation easement to 527 acres within the Florida Wildlife Corridor that are on XL Ranch Lightsey Cove.

“XL Ranch Lightsey Cove is a slice of Old Florida, and its protection is vital to the Northern Everglades,” said Adam Bass, Vice President of Conservation at Conservation Florida. “Thanks to strong partnerships, this property will remain undeveloped forever.”

Then on Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Cabinet approved, without debate, spending more than $103 million to conserve around 40,000 acres through the Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands Protection programs. Nearly all the efforts funded are within the Wildlife Corridor.

“I want to thank the Florida Cabinet for supporting our great state’s continuing land conservation legacy,” DeSantis said. “Acquiring these key properties will forever benefit water quality, wildlife habitat, and corridor linkages, and it will support Florida’s tourism and family agriculture sectors for generations to come.”


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