Alachua County Adds 3,936 Acres to the Lochloosa Slough Preserve

Press release from Alachua County

Alachua County Forever, the County’s environmental land acquisition program, has closed on the largest single land acquisition in the program’s 22-year history. The 3,936-acre purchase from the Weyerhaeuser Company bridges the gap between the 1,861-acre Lochloosa Slough Preserve and the 385-acre Fox Pen Tract.

Together with properties owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District and Alachua Conservation Trust, these lands form a contiguous protected corridor of more than 10,000 acres. All of these lands are within the state-designated Florida Wildlife Corridor.

The newly-acquired property was primarily used for timber production by the previous owner. Over time, the 2,200 acres of pine flatwoods will be restored to a more natural condition through reforestation, principally with longleaf pine and the introduction of prescribed fire. The balance of the property, over 40%, is in good quality wetlands, including numerous open-water lakes and ponds. These will be maintained to provide water storage and wildlife habitat.

Staff will next begin a detailed inventory of the ecological resources and other features to prepare a management plan for consideration of the County Commission. Public recreational access will be an important component of the plan. It is anticipated that public hunting will be considered since it has been a traditional use on the property.

The $10,588,781 purchase was made with funds from Wild Spaces and Public Places. Since County voters reauthorized Wild Spaces and Public Places in 2016, Alachua County Forever has protected an additional 12,033 acres. In addition, the program has protected 31,509 acres since its inception in 2000.

Learn more about Alachua County Forever.

  • I wonder how the psychotic right that inhabits this site will deconstruct this news into some leftist conspiracy.

    • Not a leftist’ conspiracy. It’s the sucking sound, sucking more tax revenue from residents…kind of like the sound many leftists make when they’re sucking on liberal leadership. Especially when certain city leadership gets together.
      When property gets added to state and county coffers, it comes off tax rolls which needs to be made up from another source. Source – residents. Let me clarify – tax paying residents. Not the homeless on the streets.
      If you believe otherwise, I’ve got ocean front property in Kansas for you.

    • It’s actually the best policy but it took a countywide voter referendum to do it. Conservation lands increase the property values of developments next door, increasing tax revenues. Nuff said.

      • I don’t know if you’ve traveled around the county or not but last I looked, there’s not much in the way of “development” in that neck of the woods. Matter of fact, the last large development that was being considered, (Plum Creek), in Eastern Alachua County, was shot down by commissioners.
        You’ll always believe, whether ’nuff said or not.

  • If you want to see how the left thinks take a look at any major Democratic run city or look at our southern border and you’ll see what psychotic really is. Crime is out of control, illicit drugs are let into our country and thousands die from overdoses. People from all over the world are allowed in to spread Covid and other diseases and commit crimes on our citizens. I could go on and on at this crazy leftist agenda and the implications it will have for our future.

  • They bought a bunch of swampland that you can’t build on and that should
    Be kept in its natural condition (I.e., no chainsaws, no bulldozers, no man) as wildlife habitat, but mankind will be
    In there managing it. The press release is silent about
    The lucrative contract that the management company will
    Get at taxpayers expense.

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