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Surplus Land Sale Proposal Sparks Concerns


August 23, 2013 | WMFE- Central Florida environmental advocates are alarmed by a proposal to sell off surplus conservation land around the state.

[Image: Wekiwa Springs State Park Map]

The Department of Environmental Protection says selling up to $50 million of surplus land would allow it to buy other land with more important conservation value.

The list covers more than 5,000 acres – including 385 acres of Wekiwa Springs State Park.

Audubon of Florida’s Charles Lee says that land is too valuable to sell- ecologically and as a water resource.

“We have a effort going on to preserve the Wekiva- not sell it off,” Lee says.

Lee thinks the process used to determine what goes on the surplus land list has overlooked some important conservation values.

He says people concerned about the Wekiva should speak up. 

“Contact the Governor, the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and let them know what an incredibly bad idea this is.”

Lee says the proposal to sell nearly 2,500 acres in the Green Swamp west of Orlando is also a very bad idea.

The D.E.P. says surplus land will not be sold until after it gets input from public meetings beginning now and continuing through Fall.

It says each parcel of land will also be reviewed by other state agencies.

 

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