Saunders Brokers Over $70 Million in Conservation Deals to Preserve Florida's Rural Land in 2023

January 16, 2024   |   Conservation Easements
conservation easement in florida

Throughout 2023, Dean Saunders successfully brokered conservation easements covering over 30,000 acres across Florida.

LAKELAND, FL, January 15, 2024 – Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM, Founder and Managing Director of SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate, has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to conservation and land preservation throughout 2023. With 30,715 acres in conservation easement sales in 2023, these transactions totaled $70,943,013 in the Florida counties of Osceola, Polk, Highlands, Jefferson, St. Lucie, and Hardee. Over the past year, Mr. Saunders' accomplishments showcase his dedication in working with landowners to preserve Florida's natural beauty and rural landscapes.

Conservation easements enable landowners to sell their property's development rights to the State or a qualified agency while still retaining ownership, ensuring the land remains in its natural or agricultural state. Since his time as a state legislator in the 1990s, this innovative concept for supporting landowner property rights while conserving Florida's natural beauty has been at the forefront of Mr. Saunders' career.

In 2023, Dean Saunders continued to build on his conservation legacy by representing landowners in several transformative deals. Some of his deals for the year included:


This conservation easement helped to preserve 3,176 acres in St. Lucie County, Florida. Valued at $11,433,600, the transaction was funded through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program.

Cow Creek

Protecting 3,496 acres of land in St. Lucie County, Florida, this conservation easement deal was valued at $11,637,500. The transaction was funded through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program.

Osceola County Conservation Easement

At 4,317 acres, this transaction helped to preserve many diverse ecosystems in Osceola County, Florida. Valued at $12,721,048, the conservation easement was funded through Florida Forever.

Jefferson County

Over the course of the year, Mr. Saunders also negotiated several conservation easements for a single landowner with property in Jefferson County, Florida. Encompassing four tracts, these transactions totaled an impressive 11,736 acres. This event reflects Florida landowners' commitment to conservation and the profound trust that Mr. Saunders’ clients place in him to successfully close these easements.

As conservation has become an important subject matter throughout Florida, Dean Saunders' work underscores the vital role conservation easements play in ensuring the long-term protection of the state's unique and irreplaceable environment. These transactions benefit landowners and contribute to the collective responsibility of safeguarding our green infrastructure for future generations.

Over the past year, Dean Saunders' conservation efforts have not only solidified his reputation as a leader in the real estate industry but have also played a significant role in bolstering the enduring legacy of land preservation in Florida. These accomplishments are a testament to the collaborative efforts with landowners and the support of approved funding from Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Williamson
Marketing Director

About SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler

SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate is a full-service land and commercial real estate brokerage representing buyers, sellers, investors, institutions, and landowners since 1996. We are recognized nationally as an authority on all types of land, including agriculture, ranch, recreation, residential development, and international properties. Our commercial real estate services include marketing, property management, leasing and tenant representation, loan sales, valuation, advisory, and counseling services for office, retail, industrial, and multi-family properties. With over 125 expert advisors located in Florida, Georgia, and Arkansas, we provide our clients with professional knowledge and resources to ensure the buyer’s and seller’s needs are met.