~Collier County property donation helps preserve habitat for endangered species~
The state of Florida is accepting a major land donation from Calusa Pines Golf Club, LLC, an affiliate of Indian Hill Partners. The move will preserve wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities in Collier County. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands, acting on behalf of Governor Scott and the Board of Trustees, accepted the donation of the more than 163 acres of valuable conservation land on the north border of Picayune Strand State Forest. The parcel is valued at $400,000, and also includes $1,000 per acre for management. The donation is part of Indian Hill Partners’ efforts to offset any impacts to the environment caused by future planned developments.
“Indian Hill Partners and its affiliates are pleased to donate this 160-acre tract of land to the state for incorporation into the Picayune Strand State Forest,” said Managing Member Christopher Johnson. “I see the donation of this property as a win-win for the state and Indian Hill. The property is surrounded by the state forest and will fill one of the many missing links in these conservation lands, providing wonderful habitat for many listed species in perpetuity.”
The Picayune Strand is located in western Collier County, approximately 2 miles east of Naples. The forest provides opportunities for horseback riding, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and bird watching. It also provides prime habitat for Florida panthers, as well as habitat for black bears, bald eagles, wood storks, fox squirrels and swallow-tailed kites, and is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.
“We applaud the generosity of the Indian Hill Partners for their land donation to the state of Florida,” said Kelley Boree, director of the Division of State Lands. “This donation will provide additional habitat for wildlife and increased recreational opportunities for the visitors to Picayune Strand for years to come.”
The Florida Forest Service will manage the tract as part of the Picayune Strand State Forest in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the South Florida Water Management District.