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Environmental groups want state to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee

HENDRY COUNTY, Fla.- A variety of environmental groups have started an intense lobbying effort, to convince state leaders to spend $350 million to buy land from U.S. Sugar Corp., south of Lake Okeechobee.

The Everglades Trust is running a TV spot in south Florida markets, urging people to pressure lawmakers to find the money and buy the land.

The acreage would be used to allow flows of water from the lake, south into the Everglades and Florida Bay.

U.S. Sugar says even though it signed an option for the state to buy land, no one has contacted the company about land purchases.

The option expires this year, and the legislative session is supposed to end around May 1.

U.S. Sugar issued a statement, saying the state has found other and better ways to store excess water from Lake Okeechobee.

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