No Bull, No Fluff, No Smudges
Your news source for
Flagler, Florida and Beyond

Despite 1,000-Acre Trim, Environmentalists Warn of Too Much State Land for Sale

| September 11, 2013

Some 163 acres at Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park in Brevard County were among the 1,000 acres cut from a list of lands the state would sell rather than preserve.

Some 163 acres at Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park in Brevard County were among the 1,000 acres cut from a list of lands the state would sell rather than preserve.

More than 1,000 acres of state-owned lands have been removed from a list of parcels that may be sold to help fund future land-conservation efforts.

The trim still leaves 4,250 acres at 48 state-held sites, such as parks, trails and management areas, that remain under consideration for sale by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP spokesman Patrick Gillespie said the cuts made over the past month were the result of numerous issues, such as situations where land is co-owned by agencies, existing deed restrictions on sales, and information brought forward about endangered-species habitat.

The list still has a ways to go before it is finalized and the first parcel is put up for sale. Still, critics of the plan say a number of properties remain on the list that need to be maintained for conservation.

Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation, said his organization will present a list of additional parcels that need to be removed to the state Acquisition and Restoration Council, which makes recommendations about conservation issues.

“The DEP has removed some but not all of the parcels which have important conservation values,” Fuller said Tuesday in an email.

The council is scheduled to meet Friday to update the scoring on the remaining parcels.

While the majority of the 56 parcels that have been removed are smaller than 10 acres, the recent cuts from the list include 163 acres at Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park in Brevard County and 345 acres from two sections of the Wekiva River Springs State Park in Orange County.

State Rep. Karen Castor Dentel, D-Maitland, said the removal of the Wekiva River Springs tracts preserves regional conservation goals and ecotourism efforts.

“The Wekiva River Springs State Park is a substantial economic and ecological benefit to Central Florida,” Castor Dentel said in a release. “We have a responsibility to protect the land and water in our area and to ensure that we conserve our quality of life for generations to come.”

The largest parcels that remain include 148 acres along the 29.2-mile General James A. Van Fleet State Trail in Lake County, 2,628 acres from four sections of the 9,369-acre Hilochee Wildlife Management Area in Polk County, and 700 acres of the Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area west of Jupiter along the Palm Beach-Martin County line.


The state hopes to raise $50 million from the land sales, with the money combined with $20 million that Legislators included in the budget for the purchase of land to protect springs, water quality, water quantity or to serve as buffers for military bases.

The acreage still under consideration represents 0.14 percent of the 3 million acres under ownership of the state Board of Trustees, Gillespie said.

Workshops on the list have been proposed to be held across the state later this month and in October, but no times or locations have been set, Gillespie said.

The DEP’s goal is to determine the final list set by the end of the year.

Before any conservation land is sold, state agencies, universities and colleges will first have opportunities to lease the land. Cities and counties would next have opportunities to purchase the land, at the appraised values, before the land is put out for bid.

–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida

Print Friendly

3 Responses for “Despite 1,000-Acre Trim, Environmentalists Warn of Too Much State Land for Sale”

  1. Smokey the Gator says:

    I say the state needs to buy back 1,000,000 acres of land that is waiting to be developed and changed to “protected future land-conservation acreage”. We don’t need anymore “development” in this state. It has RUINED our wildlife and marine life already…….

  2. John Adams says:

    But Florida and Flagler need more parking lots! Politicians never met a paving contractor they didn’t like.

  3. Sherry Epley says:

    The mentality of our state government leaders is incredibly short sighted! They obviously care nothing for the environment and natural beauty of our state. Even if they only care about the level of revenue flowing in, how long will those tourists dollars continue to fill the coffers once they have sold our natural resources and “paved paradise to put up a parking lot”???

    Vote these guys out!

Leave a Reply

Read FlaglerLive's Comment Policy | Subscribe to the Comment Feed rss flaglerlive comment feed rss

More stories on FlaglerLive
Loading

ADVERTISEMENTS

suppert flaglerlive flagler live palm coast flagler county news pierre tristam florida
news service of florida

Subscribe to FlaglerLive

Get immediate notification of new stories.

Advertisement
Log in
| FlaglerLive, P.O. Box 354263, Palm Coast, FL 32135-4263 | 386/586-0257

FlaglerLive.com