Crawfordville, FL -- Governor Rick Scott's cabinet agreed to an acquisition Thursday that will ensure land that has underground water flowing into Wakulla Springs will be protected by the state.
"It's a positive impact for Wakulla Springs, as you know Wakulla Springs is an extremely Karst Area, so anything that's on land that flows into our sinkholes, it will impact Wakulla Springs," said Assistant Park Manager Bonnie Allen.
The more than $1.5 mililon dollar acquisition protects an area in southern Leon County of almost 700 acres. The area was once considered as a site for a residential development project. The project fizzled out after concerns of septic and underground water running into the springs were raised.
"This is just one more area that is going to be put to recreational use for our visitors and our locals, and obviously our main objective is to save the spring," said Allen.
The area is part of the more than 7,438 acres of the Wakulla Springs Protection Zone Forever Florida. 3,280 acres still remain to be acquired.
"It just makes sense that if those developers can't use it, can't develop it, then let's use that for a preservation area to protect the springs, there's a lot of other wildlife there, and it can still be used for the citizens but won't generate any more tax dollars," said Wakulla County Commissioner Ralph Thomas.
The land will officially become part of Wakulla State Forest and will serve as a movement and reproduction site for the state-threatened Florida black bear.
Associated Press Release
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet have approved buying land to add to a National Guard training site and a north Florida spring.
A land purchase request by Florida State University also was approved.
Scott and Cabinet members Thursday approved a $2.1 million deal to buy land around Camp Blanding in Starke. The extra space is needed to buffer against noise from artillery training. The federal government will contribute $1.5 million toward the purchase.
They also OK'd $1.5 million for more than 600 acres around Wakulla Springs to save it from development and protect the underground water.
And they gave approval for nearly $2.6 million for two privately-owned parcels inside Florida State's campus to allow for the eventual building of a new film school.