For immediate release - September 16, 2005
TAVARES — Lake County’s public land acquisition program is progressing with the selection of the first public lands manager.
David Hansen began work Sept. 6 and his first order of business is to assemble a pool of potential properties for the Public Lands Acquisition Advisory Council to consider. Hansen is encouraging Lake County property owners to submit land opportunities for possible acquisition.
“We’re not taking land from owners — that’s not what we are about,” he said. “What we’re about is finding willing sellers and partners, that’s the key.”
Interested property owners can submit their properties for consideration by filling out an application. To obtain an application, call Hansen at (352) 343-9648 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must meet four of the 13 established criteria for the program.
“We’re asking them to submit in their own words of how their property meets the criteria,” Hansen said.
The criteria include:
- Significant area of documented high recharge rates
- Water bodies or wetlands capable of protecting natural floodplain functions and preventing or reducing flood damage
- Aquifers, springs and/or significant geological features are present
- Potential for water resource enhancement
- Protects, maintains or enhances populations of listed species
- Protects one or more biological communities
- Maintains or enhances natural systems corridors
- Connects two or more otherwise unconnected conservation lands
- Potential for resource based public use opportunities, including, but not limited to, Greenways, Blueways and trails
- Connects two or more otherwise unconnected Greenways, Blueways, parks, public facilities or trails
- Multiple use potential for resource based and user-oriented recreational facilities and programs
- Contributes to green space, scenic vistas or acts as development buffers
- Contains significant historical, archeological and/or cultural sites
The list encompasses three areas of primary concern: enhancing water resources, protecting environmentally sensitive lands and providing potential recreational lands.
“The idea is to preserve the resources people moved here for and continue to live here for,” Hansen said. “This is a county of 1,200 square miles. We must continue to be diligent in protecting its beauty and natural resources.”
Formerly a stormwater project manager for the Lake County Department of Public Works, Hansen was selected for the public lands manager position after a thorough interviewing process that included 23 applicants. Hansen’s other previous work experience includes four years as senior environmental specialist for the Lake County Department of Growth Management and working for a private environmental consulting firm in South Lake County. He earned a bachelor’s degree in limnology, the science of physical properties and features of fresh waters, from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in biology from the same university.
“This is a dream job,” he said. “I’m a biologist and this is a good opportunity with a fledgling program.”
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445