Conservation Easement Adds Protection to the Santa Fe River

With funding from Wild Spaces and Public Places, Alachua County has finalized the purchase of a conservation easement to provide additional protection to the Santa Fe River. 

The conservation easement, an agreement between the County and property owner David T. Brown of Gainesville, states that the property “will be retained forever substantially unchanged from its present condition of a mosaic of working pine forests and the natural communities buffering the Santa Fe River.” The current and any subsequent owners may continue to grow and harvest timber on most of the 400-acre property but must not impact wetlands or other naturally forested areas. Mr. Brown is in the process of converting from slash and loblolly pine plantations established by a previous owner to longleaf pine which once occurred naturally on the site.

The property has just over a mile of frontage on the Santa Fe River and supports floodplain forests that help to maintain water quality and wildlife habitat. It adjoins the County-owned Moccasin Creek Preserve, donated by Dale and Helen Lundgren in 2021, which also protects about a mile of frontage on the river. The corridor along the Santa Fe River has long been the top priority of the Alachua County Forever conservation land acquisition program.

Wild Spaces and Public Places, the voter-approved one-half-cent sales tax, provided funding for the $480,165 purchase price. Since Wild Spaces and Public Places was reauthorized by county voters in 2016, Alachua County Forever has protected an additional 12,800 acres. The program has protected 31,901 acres since its inception in 2000.


For more information, contact Office of Land Conservation and Management Director Charlie Houder at 352-275-2050 or chouder@alachuacounty.us.

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