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conservation easements

State will exhaust budget for agriculture conservation easements by year’s end

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The state would run out of money to buy agricultural conservation land easements by the end of 2017 under the budget approved by the Legislature, the head of the Florida Forest Service said Wednesday. The service asked for $50 million and got $10 for the Rural & Family Lands Protection Program, land program administrator John Browne told aides to Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. Combined with about $11 million for the current fiscal year, that would leave around $21…

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Thousands of acres of conservation easement on Cabinet aides’ agenda

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The Triple S Ranch lies 15 miles north of Lake Okeechobee — a 7,000-acre cattle operation, relatively untouched by development, within the recharge zone for the Kissimmee River. Rare and endangered species, including a Florida panther, wander its streams and cypress swamps. On Wednesday morning, aides to Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet will peruse a proposal to buy a conservation easement on 4,177 acres of the Okeechobee County property, for close to $7 million. The deal is scheduled to…

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Cabinet aides tee up land deals for Tuesday vote

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A plan for the state of Florida to buy $6.6 million in new state land easements took another step toward approval this week. Aides to Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet officers heard plans to buy two huge swaths of land in Osceola County, south of St. Cloud, for conservation purposes. Such land is set aside to help stave off development and preserve biodiversity. John Brown of the Florida Forest Service presented the plan at the Wednesday morning meeting, held in the Capitol’s Lower…

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