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Land Trust 101923

Posted 12/31/69

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – On Oct. 10, the North Florida Land Trust presented its final report on the Conservation Program, first introduced to officials and the community last fall.

Throughout the …

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Land Trust 101923


Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – On Oct. 10, the North Florida Land Trust presented its final report on the Conservation Program, first introduced to officials and the community last fall.

Throughout the process, Land Trust worked closely with the Board of County Commissioners and the public, gauging collective interest as to whether they would support a referendum granting the county authority to manage land that is environmentally significant.

Ramesh Buch, North Florida Land Trust Director of Conservation, was confident that the Conservation Program had earned its spot on the ballot for a referendum vote, which will take place in November.

Buch displayed a sample of how the referendum would appear on the ballot. To be implemented, the venture would be funded by ad valorem taxes and – of course – earn majority approval from residents. Buch noted the program’s top priorities: protecting drinking water sources, protecting wildlife habitats, providing access to passive recreation, and conserving agriculturally important lands.

Allison Defer, North Florida Land Trust President and CEO, emphasized the nonprofit’s deep-rooted commitment to the county.

“We are not a bunch of tree-hugging hippies who want to come into the county and tell you how to run it. That’s not where our values are. We have protected over 30,000 acres, nearly half of that in Clay. We are committed to the core of our existence, and we believe that it is ‘now or never’ in terms of preservation,” he said.

Buch pointed out that the initiative is part of the Osceola to Ocala Wildlife Corridor, a 1.6-million-acre landscape of public and private lands that connected the Osceola and Ocala National Forests. Its goal is to preserve water quality, conserve five watersheds and protect outdoor recreation and green space, among other initiatives.