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The Ranch will continue our family legacy of conservation​

My family owned Calusa Creek Ranch in Martin County for more than 20 years with our primary focus being conservation across the nearly 4,000 acres.

We proudly ran a cattle ranch and a tree farm on the site and always kept a commitment to natural conservation. At one point, we received approval for 600 homes on the property. While we ultimately decided not to move forward with that plan for a variety of reasons, we continued to work the land. 

About three years ago, we decided it was time to sell the property. We interviewed numerous potential buyers, but we weren’t going to sell to just anyone. When we met Ken and Suzanne Bakst, we knew their family vision for private conservation and natural preservation matched ours. 

Ken has a proven track record of being a conservationist. He created Friar’s Head Golf Club in Riverhead, New York, which is a 400-acre preserve. The property is renowned for its ability to be in harmony with the natural environment. Now, he’s looking to bring that mindset and investment to create The Ranch that will feature two golf courses and a low-density plan for homes. 

What’s important from my perspective is that the site would remain 95.8% in open space, continue operating a bona fide cattle ranch on more than a third of the land with hundreds of livestock, and preserve more than 660-acres of wetlands while making improvements to them. Plus, the plan eliminates the use of septic tanks and wells, which would benefit the nearby C-44 canal and St. Lucie estuary.

We carefully chose the Bakst family to keep the Barney family’s legacy of conservation on this property moving in the right direction. The plan that has been brought forward for The Ranch does this in a thoughtful way that keeps conservation a priority.

Chip Barney

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