Conservation deals reached in Putnam, Walton counties

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) — Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet agreed Tuesday to spend $7.6 million to conserve more than 8,100 acres in Walton and Putnam counties.

The acquisitions include two deals in Walton County that are part of a broader conservation effort known as the Seven Runs Creek Final Phase Florida Forever project and a parcel in Putnam County that is part the Etoniah/Cross Florida Greenway Florida Forever project.

Each deal involves purchasing a conservation easement on the properties. Conservation easements restrict future development while typically allowing landowners to continue using property for such things as agriculture.

In Walton County, the state is paying $2.42 million to Nokuse Education, Inc. for a 2,436-acre conservation easement and $2.315 million to the Stella Davis 2015 Plantation Trust for a 2,133-acre easement.

The state is paying $2.873 million to Wetland Preserve, LLC, for a 3,562-acre easement in Putnam County that, in part, will help complete the Florida National Scenic Trail, a statewide non-motorized trail that crosses several Florida Forever project sites.

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