JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A major land deal in Clay County will keep any housing developments from going in across the road from Camp Blanding.
Around 2500 acres of land have been acquired by the North Florida Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that promotes conservation efforts in the region.
This will now be protected land that will serve as a buffer between the National Guard base and any future development nearby.
“These conservation easement acquisitions mean we have been able to keep thousands of acres free from high-intensity development in perpetuity,” said Jim McCarthy, president of North Florida Land Trust.
The land is also within the Ocala to Osceola wildlife Conservation Corridor. The Land Trust describes the corridor as "a critical wildlife corridor that stretches from the Ocala National Forest to the Osceola National Forest." It provides critical habitat for black bears and other indigenous species.
The land trust used funding provided by the Army National Guard to purchase the land.