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Jax Daily Record Monday, Aug. 26, 201312:00 PM EST

DEP to hold meetings across Florida on selling lands

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Workshops are being planned for Jacksonville, Pensacola, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers as the state seeks to sell some parcels of publicly held land to raise up to $50 million for future land-conservation efforts.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection meetings are being scheduled for late September and early October, Susan Grandin, department director of the Division of State Lands, said Friday during a webinar on the land-sale proposal.

One or two additional meetings may be set up, depending upon public comments, she said. "We have a lot of steps to go through," Grandin said.

The state has started to take public input on the parcels that could be put on the market. More than 5,300 acres from 168 different parcels at 67 state parks and other publicly owned sites are being considered for the sale.

The proposal has already drawn concerns from the Florida Wildlife Federation, 1000 Friends of Florida and Audubon Florida.

Money raised from sales would be combined with $20 million that lawmakers included in the budget for the purchase of land to protect springs, water quality, water quantity or to serve as a buffer for military bases.

The state Acquisition and Restoration Council, a group that makes recommendations about land issues, will update the process to score the land on Sept. 13.

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