Department of Environmental Protection considers selling 'surplus' conservation land

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Anastasia State Park "surplus" parcel highlighted in red.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has added a public hearing for Monday in Jacksonville on the plan to sell state-owned parcels to help fund future land-conservation efforts.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the Jacksonville City Hall.

The list of lands under consideration has continued to dwindle as the review has proceeded. There are now 78 sites that combine for about 3,400 acres, 0.11 percent of the state's 3 million acres of state-owned conservation land, under consideration for sale.

In most cases, the property deemed surplus is only a small part of larger parcels. For instance, a 2.7-acre piece of Anastasia State Park across State Road A1A from the rest of the oceanfront park was deemed surplus. [Maps shown above]

Other items on the list in northeast Florida include 11.4 acres of Matanzas State Forest, 2 acres of Etoniah Creek State Forest (Putnam County) and 2.4 acres of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park (Alachua County).

The list initially was of 169 sites that combined for roughly 5,300 acres, but after hearings were held in Pensacola, Fort Myers, Viera and Orlando, many of the parcels were removed from the state's list.

The money from any sale will be combined with $20 million that lawmakers included in the budget for the purchase of land to protect springs, water quality, water quantity or to serve as buffers for military bases.

The Legislature approved the state land-sale program with the hope of raising $50 million. However, DEP officials noted it is unknown how much the state will generate from the parcels that remain under consideration and that no estimate may be made until the final list is set.

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