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Swiftmud seeks comments on land use

The Southwest Florida Water Management District and the state Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission are planning a joint public meeting on the future of three tracts of public land in West Central Florida.

The lone Pasco County meeting is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at the new Dade City courthouse. At issue will be hunting on public land.

The agencies are seeking public comment on the potential use of the huge tracts included in the Green Swamp West area in Pasco, the Lake Panasoffkee acreage in Sumter County and Potts Reserve in Citrus County.

The tracts are managed by the water management district, known as Swiftmud, through the Save Our Rivers and Preservation 2000 programs.

The lands are used for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, canoeing, camping and fishing, but the district has been devising a way to allow some hunting on the land since May, according to a statement released Thursday by Swiftmud. The district will consider allowing hunting for small game, feral hog and spring turkey season.