Dean Saunders Facilitates $12.7 Million Conservation Easement in Osceola County

August 02, 2023   |   Conservation Easements
cattle grazing under a large tree

Covering over 4,000 acres, Dean Saunders champions conservation efforts in Osceola County, Florida.

LAKELAND, FL, August 2, 2023 – With the help of SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler’s Founder and Managing Director, Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM, Florida’s infamous Bronson family recently secured a monumental $12.7 million conservation easement for their Holopaw Ranch. This transaction, covering 4,222 acres within the Big Bend Swamp/Holopaw Ranch in south Osceola County, has been unanimously approved by the governor and cabinet.

Dean Saunders' role in securing this conservation easement stands as a testament to the profound nature of his relationship with the Bronson family. Boasting a legacy spanning seven generations of Florida cattle ranching, the Bronson family holds great understanding of the state’s natural lands. Their partnership with Dean and their shared appreciation for the land's history has led to many successful real estate transactions.

Additionally, the acquisition of this conservation easement was approved as one of Florida Forever’s current projects. Composed of five separate parcels, this recent initiative is responsible for allocating a total of $46.6 million towards the preservation of vital lands across the state. Having worked closely with many similar projects, Dean Saunders emphasizes the significance of conservation easements in safeguarding Florida’s essential habitats, wetlands, and wildlife:

"Not only do these conservation easements shield land from development, but they also play a vital role in safeguarding Florida’s natural habitats, wetlands, and wildlife,” stated Saunders. “As the state’s population continues to rise, so does the pressure for development. If we continue to compensate landowners for selling their development rights, we move closer to identifying that balance between adequate development and critical conservation needs."

Holopaw Ranch's diverse ecosystems include palmetto prairies, pine flatwoods, and cypress swamps. The property also harbors a rich assortment of unique wildlife including the Florida sandhill crane, Florida grasshopper sparrow, Sherman’s fox squirrel, and crested caracara.

Moreover, this diverse sanctuary lies within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Enacted on July 1, 2021 with unanimous bipartisan support, the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act has propelled heightened interest and engagement in the preservation of the region's natural splendor. Since its enactment, consistent funding in this project has led to the protection of a remarkable 80,356 acres of land by the State of Florida.

The $12.7 million conservation easement in Holopaw Ranch adds to a series of impactful land transactions in the Kissimmee River Valley aimed at nurturing conservation and rural preservation. Dean Saunders' unwavering commitment to these endeavors ensures that the cherished landscapes of Florida will remain untouched by development.

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.