SFWMD Evaluating 62,000 acres of conservation land for surplus in Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Collier Counties.
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is assessing whether to retain or declare surplus and sell over 62,000 acres of conservation land in Southwest Florida, including lands in Lee, Hendry, Glades and Collier Counties. The lands involved include water management, project, and Conservation lands bought under the Florida Forever, Preservation 2000, and Water Management Lands Trust Fund programs.
A number of the properties being reviewed are located near or adjacent to Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, such as the “Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed” (CREW) and lands in the Ockaloacoochee Slough.
Also up for evaluation are lands purchased for water quality projects, including the C-43 Reservoir site, the Caloosahatchee Water Treatment and Testing Facility tract, and a string of properties along the Caloosahatchee river including mangrove and other wetland islands and peninsulas within the river floodplain itself.
SFWMD is seeking public comments on the value of retaining these lands for conservation, and other water management purposes.
The deadline to submit comments is May 28, click here to take action right now.
Maps and detailed material on each property up for consideration are available at the District’s Web Site, found by clicking here.
All concerned with the continued conservation and protection of these lands should submit comments or attend the public meeting (date and time below) and make comments in person. Because SFWMD has put all of its properties in the area “on the table” for review, those lands which seem ignored by the public in this review may eventually be targeted as “potential surplus” by SFWMD. Comments in favor of retaining land in conservation are urgently needed
SFWMD has noticed a public meeting in the area to listen to comments from the public and environmental organizations: