The Southwest Florida Water Management District governing board Tuesday approved $2 million from the Forever Florida Trust Fund to help purchase the Carlton Triangle Ranch in Myakka and eventually turn it into a conservation easement.
Funds for the nearly $5 million purchase come from the fund, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and Bradenton conservationist Elizabeth Moore.
Conservation Foundation president Christine Johnson described the vote as a “huge, huge win.”
“This is the last piece of the funding puzzle,” Johnson said.
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The Conservation Foundation has been working on protecting the 1,088-acre Triangle Ranch property for three years, as it’s located on three miles of the Myakka River. Johnson said that land is considered for conservation easements when they have the highest natural value. They will close in about 30 days, and after that this piece of land will be protected forever.
Over 100 species of animals call this piece of Old Florida home, including the Florida panther and the crested caracara.
Carlton Triangle Ranch was owned by the Carltons, one of the well-known farming families in Myakka from the 1800s, and used to be a cattle ranch. The name “triangle” comes from the cattle brand they used, according to historical author Joe Warner.