Gissy Rainbow River Ranch

Among a number of approved land deals that Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet discussed Tuesday, Jan. 17, is a proposed conservation easement, at a cost of $3 million, adding 135 acres to 307 acres already acquired or pending a sale as part of what is known as the Rainbow River Corridor in Marion County. The land consists of “most of the undeveloped or minimally developed private land remaining along the Rainbow River.”

Conservation Florida announced Jan. 17 that Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet approved funding to complete the purchase of an easement along the Rainbow River known as the Gissy Rainbow River Ranch. The 135-acre property includes 4,200 linear feet of river shoreline.

The purchase through the Florida Forever program will protect “most of the last undeveloped or minimally developed private land” along the river, helping it serve as a connector piece in the Florida Wildlife Corridor, Conservation Florida said in a press release.

Local developer Jim Gissy, owner of the Gissy Rainbow River Ranch, proposed an eco-tourist resort on the property, before he withdrew an application amid local pushback. He then collaborated with Conservation Florida, a land trust which specializes in aiming to protect Florida’s natural and agricultural landscapes, to seek a purchase through the State program.

“The conservation of land to create a conserved wildlife corridor spanning our state is not only necessary for wildlife such as the Florida panther, black bear, and gopher tortoise, but also for protecting our water, economy, and way of life,” said Traci Deen, president and CEO of Conservation Florida. Dean’s organization also gained approval of a purchase of a 2,529-acre property in Okeechobee County.

“With (the) approval of our project, (they) are on their way to being protected for generations to come and we move the needle forward on the protection of a functional Florida Wildlife Corridor.”

The Rainbow River has one of the largest spring runs in the world and is a designated National Natural Landmark, an aquatic preserve, and an Outstanding Florida Waterway.

“I am thrilled to partner with Conservation Florida on the permanent protection of this uniquely special property” Gissy said. “A conservation easement will provide added protection to the ecosystem it supports and play a critical role in the connection and protection of the Florida Wildlife Corridor.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to read our premium content. If you have a subscription, please log in or sign up for an account on our website to continue.

There are no services available.