HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – Hillsborough County is buying a nearly 500-acre cattle ranch to help create a critical environmental corridor in fast-growing South County.
The 487-acre tract connects 9,000 acres of County preservation along the Little Manatee River with about 3,000 acres protected by the state. The land is in southern Wimauma and borders Manatee County.
Acquiring the property brings significant environmental benefits, including allowing the County and state preserves to function as a wildlife corridor. The property will help mitigate the impact of floodwaters, and the pasture areas will be restored to a more natural state.
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The contract allows the landowner to lease back the property for two years while the existing cattle operation is shut down.
The purchase price is $10.2 million and will be made through the County’s Jan K. Platt Environmental Land Acquisition and Protection Program, which is funded through a voter-approved tax.
The County will spend about $1.2 million to restore the property and tear down existing structures on the land.