Teddy Bear News

Florida purchases ranch for conservation
Author: teddygirl | Sunday August 06, 2006

Florida purchased 74,000 acres for conservation, which was the state’s largest ever land buy for environmental preservation. The state contributed $310 million and Lee County contributed $40 million for the purchase of the Babcock Ranch. The Babcock family owned the ranch for 100 years before selling it to developer Kitson and Partners. The family wanted to preserve most of the land.

Kitson sold 74,000 acres to the state but kept 17,000 acres for development of a new town with 19,000 new homes. Although the land set aside for conservation is a great achievement, adding a town with 19,000 new homes is bad for a state that already has out of control development along with an exploding population.

The 74,000 mostly undeveloped acres are a brush and swamp wilderness tract that will almost go from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico. The ranch will continue to have a working cattle operation, and operators say it will continue to be environmentally friendly.

Some of the wildlife that live in the area include bears, panthers, wood storks and spoon bills.

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