A large land transaction in East Manatee often means more rooftops are coming.
Not in this case.
The U.S. government recently paid nearly $4 million for a conservation easement for 1,481.6 acres at Blackbeard's Ranch, located off Coker Gully Road.
The easement allows the federal government to restore the property to protect area waterways and provide a buffer to Myakka River State Park.
Waters from the wetlands at Blackbeard's Ranch feed into Deer Prairie Slough, which in turn feed into the Myakka River and Charlotte Harbor.
In addition to restoring the habitat at Blackbeard's Ranch, the easement ensures the area never becomes more residential development.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation contributed $4.28 million in its agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service to fund acquisition and future restoration, said Rob Blumenthal of the NFWF.
"The wetland reserve easement on Blackbeard’s Ranch provided the opportunity to conserve significant acreage of wetlands that were a high priority for several partners, including USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission," Blumenthal said.
The easement does not cover all of Blackbeard's Ranch.
In 2014, Michael Galinksi, owner of America II Electronics of St. Petersburg, paid $13 million to the family of a former U.S. Army general for 4,515 acres that he renamed Blackbeard's Ranch.
Among activities at Backbeard's Ranch are cattle ranching, and hog, and chicken production, according to blackbeardsranch.com/about/.
"While running a cow-calf operation is our primary focus, we have begun to diversify into other agricultural endeavors, to demonstrate and educate how sustainable agriculture and conservation come together," according to the web site.
At the time he purchased the property in 2014, Galinski said he planned to hold onto the land long-term and to use it for a ranching operation. He also expected the portion bordering the Myakka State Park to become a conservation easement, the Bradenton Herald previously reported.
The purchase of the conservation easement was reported this week by the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court's Office.
It is the third federal wetland easement in the Manatee County portion of the Myakka River Watershed with a fourth in the planning, said Roney Gutierrez, a representative of the USDA.
Also reported by the clerk's office was the $7,774,000 sale of 46 acres off Lorraine Road by Windham Development. a Bloomfield Hills, Mich., company to KB Home Tampa.
KB Homes plans to build single-family homes on 139 lots ranging from 1,700-3,000 square feet. The gated community with a pool and cabana will be called Lakewood Estates. KB's new property includes Lorraine Farms.
"Site development will start next week and we anticipate opening early next year. Preliminary pricing in the mid-$300,000s," a company representative said in an email.