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On conservation lands, state struggles to keep up with developers

Traci Deen says more consistent conservation funding would boost land preservation. Photo by Amy Green
Amy Green
/
WMFE
Traci Deen says more consistent conservation funding would boost land preservation.

Florida’s red-hot real estate market is pressuring land conservation, as developers offer more money for properties than the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has named land conservation as among his priorities for the spring legislative session.

The land is aimed at giving animals room to roam and also improving water quality and flood control. But Traci Deen of Conservation Florida says the state seldom offers market value.

“Many of the deals if not most of the deals, based on the data we have seen, are not at appraised value. They hover between 92% and 99%.”

Deen spoke during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. The legislative session begins March 7.

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, among many other publications. She began her career at The Associated Press in Nashville, Tenn. Amy grew up in Florida and lives in Orlando with her 7-year-old daughter.
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