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The voter-approved Volusia Forever program has identified a 1,326-acre property that the Volusia County Council has approved as a high priority for acquisition. The county seeks to partner with the Florida Forever Program to acquire this property, representing an expansion of the adjacent 8,040-acre Deep Creek Preserve.

To make this property eligible for purchase by Florida Forever, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) must hold a local public hearing to gather community input. The hearing will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, March 13, in the County Council Chambers of the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Building, 123 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand. ARC representatives will present and solicit feedback regarding the proposal to purchase the Carter-Quail Ranch property in New Smyrna Beach to become a part of Florida Forever.

The public is encouraged to participate in this hearing. The Carter-Quail Ranch is within the highest priority area of the Florida Wildlife Corridor, provides significant water filtration benefits and multiple opportunities for public recreation like camping, trails and fishing. The property can be accessed from SR415/Tomoka Farms Road. The public hearing agenda, Volusia Forever property evaluation results, project report and full application submitted to Florida Forever can be accessed at volusia.org/forever.

The Florida Forever program replaced Florida’s Preservation 2000 (P2000) conservation land acquisition program and remains the largest public land acquisition program of its kind in the United States. There are currently approximately 10 million acres managed for conservation in Florida, and more than 2.6 million of those were purchased through the Florida Forever and P2000 programs. Since the inception of the Florida Forever program in July 2001, the state has purchased more than 897,785 acres of land, utilizing approximately $3.3 billion dedicated to land acquisition.


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