Governor and Cabinet Approve Acquisition of Vital Acres along Ichetucknee Trace

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Governor and Cabinet Approve Acquisition
of Vital Acres along Ichetucknee Trace

Itchetucknee Trace

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Governor and Cabinet, sitting as the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund (BOT), recently approved the acquisition of an additional 160 acres in Columbia County within the Ichetucknee Trace Florida Forever project.

The property is along a dry valley known as the Ichetucknee Trace, which marks the route of a major underground conduit supplying the first-magnitude Ichetucknee Springs with clear water. Ownership of this property will protect lands directly atop and adjacent to the Trace, including channels conveying ground water south to the springs in Ichetucknee Springs State Park

“This acquisition is important for both the quality and quantity of water flowing into the first magnitude Ichetucknee Springs,” said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein. “The restoration and protection of our world-renowned springs continues to be a key priority for the department and we appreciate the support of Governor DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet.”

“This is an important addition to Florida’s conservation lands,” said Florida State Parks Director Eric Draper. "Protecting the Ichetucknee Trace will keep the springs at the park flowing clear and strong.”

“The Ichetucknee River and its springs are world-renowned, crown jewels of water resources in North Florida,” said Executive Director of the Suwannee River Water Management District Hugh Thomas. “We admire the foresight of Governor DeSantis, the Cabinet and Secretary Valenstein in working to ensure the long-term health of this magnificent resource.”

Ichetucknee Springs State Park features spring-fed rivers, lush canopies and cool swimming holes enjoyed by visitors year-round. Although well-known for its warm weather tubing, the 2,669-acre Ichetucknee Springs State Park is also a wildlife haven, where beaver, otter, gar, softshell turtle, wild turkey, wood duck and limpkin all find a home. The main draw is the park’s eight major crystalline springs that together create the six-mile Ichetucknee River.

Florida Forever is the state's conservation and recreation lands acquisition program, a blueprint for conserving our natural resources and renewing our commitment to conserve our natural and cultural heritage. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Division of State Lands is Florida’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship.