Media Release

River Styx Conservation Purchase

Thursday, March 13, 2008 1:00 AM

12:45 p.m.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Forever land conservation program, with co-funding from the St. Johns Water Management District, has purchased 1,428 acres of timberland along the River Styx in southern Alachua County.  The purchase brings the County one step closer to creating an uninterrupted wildlife passage around the Lochloosa Lake area as well as providing more woodland space for citizens to pursue resource-based recreation.  The property was purchased from Rayonier, a forest products company based in Jacksonville, FL, for $4.8 million.  

Alachua County Forever program officials worked closely with Rayonier in the purchase in order to create a connector between several conservation properties in North Florida. 

Alachua County Forever Program Manager Ramesh Buch said that the property is a keystone parcel in the connector project.  He described the River Styx area and the associated river, strand and swamp communities, as extremely important for wildlife such as the Florida black bear, bald eagles, and a number of wading birds.  Several of the species in the area are on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife threatened and endangered species list.

"The property is biologically connected to the Micanopy Wood Stork Rookery, which houses the largest and most stable rookery for protected storks in north central Florida," said Buch.  "We're very pleased to add this outstanding property to our portfolio.  We are encouraging members of the local community to visit this property and Alachua County's entire network of trails, streams, and greenways."

In speaking of the purchase Ed Montgomery, director of rural properties for Rayonier said, "The sale of land for conservation is a win-win situation for everyone.  As a business, we have maximized the value of our property for shareholders, and at the same time, we have helped contribute to the preservation of native forest landscapes that maintain the character of local communities."  Montgomery added, "Rayonier has sold more than 90,000 timberland acres to government and conservation groups in the past decade, much of it in Florida."

For more information, contact:
Ramesh Buch at Alachua County Forever, 352-264-6800
Shannon Thuren at Rayonier, 904 357 9181



  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).