In a deal with a large sugar farming operation, the state of Florida will buy up 187,000 acres of land near the Everglades -- a move environmentalists are applauding.
"The dream of a restored Everglades, with water flowing from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay, moved a giant step closer to reality on Tuesday when the nation's largest sugarcane producer agreed to sell all of its assets to the state and go out of business."
"Under the proposed deal, Florida will pay $1.75 billion for United States Sugar, which would have six years to continue farming before turning over 187,000 acres north of Everglades National Park, along with two sugar refineries, 200 miles of railroad and other assets."
"It would be Florida's biggest land acquisition ever, and the magnitude and location of the purchase left environmentalists and state officials giddy."
"The details of the deal, which is scheduled to be completed over the next few months, and does not require legislative approval, may define how long the honeymoon lasts. Previous acquisitions took longer to integrate than initially expected and because United States Sugar's fields are not all contiguous, complicated land swaps with other businesses may be required."