Around 2,000 acres of land to be preserved at two ranches in eastern Sarasota County

Myakka Land Preservation

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Nearly 800 acres of the Donald Gant Ranch and nearly 1,300 acres of the Panning Family Ranch are being preserved under a conservation easement.

The properties are around 10 miles east of Myakka River State Park off of State Road 72. Sarasota County Commissioners recently voted to move forward with the purchase.

Rancher Jim Strickland says this preservation is very important, especially with keeping this land out of the hands of developers.

“There are several things as humans we need, we need clean air and clean water and a lot of it," said Strickland. "This green space right behind us can certainly do that, rooftops can’t, so if we’re going to have more rooftops let’s keep this green space.”

What this conservation easement means is that the ranchers will continue their operations on the land, but it will be kept from being built up forever. On top of that, they are receiving money as part of this conservation easement.

These two properties are continuously linking thousands of acres of other ranches that have been preserved.

“If you’re going to protect real Florida as we have these high growth residential areas, let’s protect some green space too," said Strickland. "And everybody that moves here will be able to enjoy what we’ve enjoyed for a lot of years here in Florida.”

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