Excerpt from article by Zac Anderson, at the Herald Tribune.

Nearly 1,500 acres of cattle ranch close to Myakka River State Park will be protected from development and restored to native habitat after the federal government recently signed off on a conservation easement for the site.

The National Resources Conservation Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is purchasing the “wetland reserve easement” on a portion of Blackbeard’s Ranch in Manatee County for $3.9 million.

The deal largely is being financed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which contributed $4 million toward the easement and wetland restoration efforts.