The protection of natural and agricultural lands are necessary for a vital economy and healthy communities. Public and private conservation lands and the services they provide are just as important to our economy and well-being as are our roads, residences, and businesses. Natural and agricultural lands are critical to our quality of life. They protect our water supply, clean our water, and provide flood control, storm protection, food, recreation and clean air. Land conservation isn’t a luxury; it is critical to our future.

The Florida Conservation Group advocates on behalf of Florida landowners to secure funding for land conservation.


Jim Strickland is a sixth-generation cattle rancher who, alongside fellow ranchers in the Sunshine State, is working to preserve Southwest Florida’s natural habitat

June 16, 2018
By Katelyn Newman for USN&WR   Go To Full Story
As the sun begins to rise and the mist breaks on a clear Florida morning, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and pesky feral pigs rummage for breakfast near Sabal palms and hay bales. Less than a football field away, a cadre of black, brown and white cattle start to graze.
Pointing out the multiple species, rancher Jim Strickland slowly inches his white pickup truck through the nearly untouched underbrush on his 4,530-acre property, taking care not to disturb the morning meals.
"About all I ever wanted to do is this," the sixth-generation beef cattle rancher says as he drives around his Blackbeard's Ranch property in Manatee County. "There's pictures of me with a cowboy hat, riding a stick horse, when I was little – so this is pretty much all I wanted to do."

October 5, 2018

Preserving Old Florida

  “People don’t come to Florida to see a subdivision, they want to see green space. My goal is to encourage other ranchers to acquire easements to preserve this land for the future. We are losing our state.” –Cary Lightsey Are you a private landowner interested in a conservation easement? Wetland Reserve Easements provide financial and technical assistance to ranchers and farmers to protect and restore wetlands. Agricultural land easements provide funds to partners, such as state and local governments, Indian tribes and non-profits, to purchase conservation easements on agricultural lands. Go to Preserving Old Florida web site.

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