Sale of Myakka Ranchlands to Conservation Program Complete
The sale to Sarasota County and the Southwest Florida Water Management District of the Walton Ranch (3,760 acres) in the Myakka Ranchlands project was closed on July 15, 2010. (Link to map below.) The $22.5 million joint acquisition included $12.8 million from the SWFWMD's Florida Forever funding that provides a conservation easement over all the acreage. The Walton Ranch was a key piece to connect previous joint acquisitions east of the County's Carlton Reserve to District protected land in DeSoto County.
Land protected here contains marshes, pine flatwoods, hardwood hammocks and pastures which will safeguard water quality and supplies while providing natural flood protection. The purchase also creates an ecological corridor for wildlife, including the endangered Florida panther. Future greenway, trail connections and other ecotourism opportunities have great potential on this parcel.