WWALS Watershed Coalition advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities.
It’s not the Gates Foujndation: it’s his private investment arm. And Lakeland Sands is not the only LLC shell corp he’s using to buy up land in Suwannee, Hamilton, and Madison Counties, FL
and Lowndes and Echols Counties, GA;
…while the degradation of South Florida waters receives national
attention, contributions of big agriculture — exemplified by
operations owned by Bill Gates — to the deterioration of North
Florida waters have gone largely unnoticed.
Why does a farm need an industrial wastewater facility permit?
WWALS got an email alert from FDEP about such a permit request for
Suwannee Farms LLC on June 11th.
A bit of digging shows it’s apparently now owned by Bill Gates,
along with many more nearby acres in center pivot agriculture.
Florida Springs Council (FSC) is concerned about Bill Gates,
Lakeland Sands and others investing in Florida and south Georgia Land
for industrial farming operations, reports
Chris Mericle, WWALS delegate to FSC.
FSC, like WWALS, would like to know more, and is trying to contact Bill Gates
to start a dialog about sustainable farming practices.
For example, Chris reports:
There is a 300 acre parcel of Lakeland Sands property here in
Hamilton Co. that has been cleared of the forest that was there
except for a small island of trees in the center. Within this
island of trees is a true hydrogeological wonder. A beautiful
spring boils from the ground, the spring pool is Continue reading →
Investment firms owned by Bill Gates have bought thousands of
acress of agricultural land in counties in or near WWALS watersheds
in south Georgia and north Florida, all above the Floridan Aquifer,
near the Alapaha, Alapahoochee, Withlacoochee, and Suwannee Rivers,
as part of a nationwide buying spree of a quarter million acres.
Here’s a summary of what we’ve found thus far.
Any more recent posts should be found through
These purchases of hundreds and thousands of contiguous acres
are all after
Bill Gates announced in 2012 he was going to
agriculture in conjunction with Monsanto and Syngenta.
More than 1,000 acres
through September 2014,
in parcels already adding up to more than 250 acres,
or in contiguous or nearby parcels that can be combined,
all bought by Lakeland Sands LLC.
On SE Farm Road and FL 63, between Madison and Lee, 30.423520, -83.353757,
parcels 01-1S-09-0843-000-000 (374 acres),
06-1S-10-1192-000-000 (568.35 acres),
05-1S-10-1187-000-000 (363.161 acres),
07-1S-10-1197-000-000 (316.13 acres),
08-1S-10-1199-000-000 (259 acres)
12-1S-09-0892-001-000 (67.27 acres)
12-1S-09-0893-000-000 (224.68 acres),
11-1S-09-0884-000-000 (162.93 acres),
total in just those eight parcels.
All eight marked as timberland: we’ll see how long that lasts.
Plus 12-1S-09-0892-002-0A2 (39.12 acres) of pastureland in between.
These parcels surround a couple of City of Madison parcels Continue reading →
The east side of Lake Park and east of Naylor:
acreage bought by a shell of a shell of a shell of Bill Gates’ investment company in the past two years.
170.57 acres in
Parcel 0224 003 just east of Lake Park,
plus another 126 acres in adjoining parcels inside and outside
of Lake Park, which is most of the blue acreage on this map,
all in the Alapahoochee River watershed,
owned by Lakeland Sands according to the Lowndes County Tax Assessors database. Continue reading →