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As Land Sale List Is Pared Down, Most Of Remaining Acreage Is In Just One County

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VisitFloridaStateParks.com
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Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials have further pared down a list of lands the state may sell in order to raise money to protect other land. Now, a majority of the remaining land is in a single county, which has raised eyebrows among elected leaders there.

The state’s list started with 169 parcels.  It’s down to 77, comprising a little more than 3,400 acres. But though the parcels are scattered across more than two dozen counties, the six of them in Polk County account for more than 2,600 acres – better than three-quarters of the land that’s left on the list. Polk County Commissioner George Lindsey, who says he supports the idea of selling small parcels of land to help protect other land, says picking off large portions of the Hilochee Wildlife Management Area might not fit the bill.

“I would really question the merits of disposing of those properties,” Lindsey says.

Most of the remaining parcels are just a few acres in size. But the Polk County spots account for six of the seven largest parcels left on the list, ranging in size from 125 to 827 acres.

DEP spokeswoman Mara Burger could not say how much money the state now estimates it’ll make if it sells off the remaining land, nor could she say if the state has a target for the amount of money it wants to raise. She did allow that the sales are unlikely to reap anywhere near the $50 million officials had originally hoped for.