Working with Landowners

Working with Landowners to Protect the Land

The Florida Conservation Group advises and works with landowners throughout the land acquisition process from the beginning to end. We are experts in real estate, the political process, ecology and agriculture. Since 2015, we have represented landowners on projects totaling over 70,000 acres in Florida.

Florida’s ranchlands protect a vast amount of native habitat that is critical to the viability of many of our listed wildlife species. From a purely ecological perspective, a well-maintained cattle ranch is the most desired land use in many parts of the southern peninsula (other than purely native habitat), as pasture mimics much of the native prairie’s ecological functions and supports wildlife endemic to the region.

As development increases, ranches are under increasing economic pressure to be divided and sold. A conservation easement provides an option to keep this land intact,  help contribute to cost of managing the property and ensure that the land is not broken up into pieces.

Choosing the Right Program

Many local, state and federal acquisition programs are available, each with a different focus, criteria and ranking process and timeline. We work closely with the owner to determine what program is best for them and their future plans. See the Land Conservation page to learn more about the programs and the Landowner Resources page for a list of conservation easement resources.

Sometimes conservation easements aren’t the best fit for people; We also bring knowledge and technical expertise on other conservation and agricultural assistance programs available. We work with other programs that can assist landowners in generating income while also keeping the land productive and sustainable.

FCG’s Approach

Our approach includes working at the watershed scale to protect and restore Florida’s rural lands. Our work to protect our water resources in Florida begins at the source, by protecting the landscapes that hold and clean water before it flows into the rivers and lakes that flow to our coastal estuaries.

Working on projects from beginning to end involves:

  • Understanding landowner needs and future goals for the property
  • Education on the various programs available
  • Ecological evaluation of the land and learning about the agricultural activities on the land
  • An application process focused on ecological and agricultural attributes
  • A vetting process by experts from various agencies
  • Advocating for projects in front of selection committees and decision makers
  • Working with the landowner and agency during the entire process, including developing terms of a conservation easement, appraisal, negotiations and closing.

Many times it is necessary to leverage different funding sources from various local, state, federal and private entities.

We are experts in all of the programs and available funding and have extensive experience in bringing together multiple partners to conserve land.