Myakka Ranch in Manatee County is one step closer to getting state protection. Conservation of that property was supported by Florida’s Acquisition and Restoration Council, or ARC, on Friday.
Florida Forever is the state’s conservation and recreation lands acquisition program. It’s one of the largest land acquisition programs in the US. Julie Morris is the Director of The Florida Conservation Group.
“We still have these areas in Southwest Florida that are worth protecting, these pristine natural communities, and even though we are the fastest-growing area in the country, I think we still have areas that stand out.”
One of those areas is Myakka Ranch, an approximately thousand-acre land in Eastern Manatee County. Morris advocated to ARC about why the land should be considered.
“Mining is going to happen just to the north and just to the south, so this is one of the very few opportunities we have to protect the functional wildlife corridor between conservation lands in the river in the Myakka River Watershed, and I just want everyone to picture development moving in from the west, and mining moving in from the North and South”
Friday was the final vote for ARC, the decision-making body that votes to approve if the projects are worthy of consideration for Florida Forever.
If all goes well, Morris says they are still a year out from the protections being implemented. The projects go through a lengthy review process and must be approved by the governor and cabinet.