The state of Florida has taken the first step in protecting nearly 40 thousand acres of environmentally sensitive property along the Apalachicola River.
On Friday the Department of Environmental Protection's Acquisition and Restoration Council voted to move forward on plans to protect the Upper Apalachicola River Ecosystem.
The proposal encompasses nearly 40 thousand acres along both sides of the floodplain of the upper Apalachicola River.
The proposal chiefly includes lands along the Calhoun-Liberty County boundary but extends northward along the Jackson-Gadsden County boundary and southward along the Gulf-Liberty County boundary, for more than 80 miles of river frontage.
The proposal fills nearly all of the gaps among the many state, local, and private conservation lands and existing Florida Forever projects that have been established along the upper Apalachicola River floodplain through decades of conservation efforts.
The land is privately owned, and is mostly undeveloped.
It consists predominantly of heavily forested wetlands, chiefly floodplain swamp and alluvial forest.
It is being offered to the state for conservation easement that will permit continued timber harvest and hunting activities.
Friday's vote was only the first step in acquirring the land for protection, the project will require more consideration before it recieves a final vote from the cabinet.
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