There was some good holiday news for the environment.
The owners of ranchland near the intersection of State Road 60 and Yeehaw Junction have announced a public-private partnership that will turn 27,000 acres onto a place for research and wildlife preservation.
The significance is that more than a decade ago this site was proposed for a 40,000-home development called Destiny, the latest in a series of large developments proposed in some of the last rural areas in the Kissimmee River and St. Johns River headwaters in east central Florida.
The partnership involves the University of Florida, Ducks Unlimited and the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida.
This property is north of the 54,000-acre Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park and includes the dry prairie habitat that is home of the endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow and other endemic Florida plant and animal species.
It is also an example of how creative alternatives that once were unimaginable can bring a result that is good for both the environment and long-time property owners.