A conservation easement agreement will preserve 855 acres in Putnam County. | North Florida Land TrustA conservation easement agreement will preserve 855 acres in Putnam County. | North Florida Land Trust
A conservation easement agreement will preserve 855 acres in Putnam County. | North Florida Land Trust

Land deal preserves 855 acres in Putnam County

Published on June 3, 2024 at 2:12 pm

Conservation leaders have struck a deal with a family in Putnam County that will preserve 855 acres in a critical wildlife corridor.

The North Florida Land Trust and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reached the deal with the O’Connor family, who have owned the property for almost a century.

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The conservation easement was acquired for $2.1 million through the Florida Forever program.

The land represents an important link between Ocala and the Osceola Wildlife Corridor, according to an announcement from the North Florida Land Trust. It was the only land along Rodman Lake that was not yet protected.

The property is a mosaic of pine flatwoods, mixed pine-hardwood hammocks and forests, and sandy pine uplands that were historically longleaf pine sandhill and sand pine scrub, the land trust said. The diverse habitat includes alligators, white-tail deer, turkeys, red shoulder hawks, Florida black bears, indigo snakes and gopher tortoises.

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“Protecting this property through the conservation easement agreement is a great way to make sure this wonderful piece of property, which is bordered by conservation lands and waterways, remains natural forever,” said land trust President Allison DeFoor.

Landowner Carolyn Marlowe, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “Our property has been in the family for nearly 100 years. We desire to protect and preserve the wildlife, freshwater ecosystem, and woodlands to be enjoyed by us and future generations of our family.”

The conservation easement agreement allows the family to continue to use the land for recreation, hunting and timber production. It also allows the family to construct no more than three residential homesites on the property.


author image Senior News Editor

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. 

author image Senior News Editor

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. 


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