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Cabinet Green Lights 32,000 Acre Purchase of Conservation Lands

May 28th, 2020 by Jake Stofan

Floridians will have more natural wonders to explore as the state opens up with the Governor and Cabinet approving the purchase of 32,000 acres for protection Thursday.

The lands, purchased primarily in the panhandle through the Florida Forever Program, include Lake Wimico in Gulf County, Devil’s Garden in Hendry County and the Bluffs of St. Teresa in Franklin and Wukulla counties.

Executive Director of Audubon Florida Julie Wraithmell said the between $73 and $79 million price tag on the seven land purchases is well worth the investment for the state.

“Whether you’re talking about our tourism economy or our real estate values, the ability of military bases to continue the military mission or even agriculture. They depend on these open spaces and the water quality and quantity protection that they’re providing,” said Wraithmell.

Since 2001 the Florida Forever Program has been used to purchase and protect more than 800,000 acres of natural lands throughout the state.

Thursday’s purchase was the largest in at least a decade.

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