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AN IMPROPERLY CLEARED PATH The path through the conservation easement is required to be no more than 4 feet wide. News Leader measurements found it to be as much as 9 feet wide in places. Photo by Robert Hackney A CONSERVATION EASEMENT AREA ON SIESTA KEY THAT WAS THE SITE OF ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS LAST YEAR LINKED TO NEARBY PROPERTY OWNERS HAS BEEN THE FOCUS OF A NEW VIOLATION THIS WEEK By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor A little over a year ago, raking and sand grooming violations were reported in the area of a conservation easement on Siesta Key involving property at 610-612 Beach Road. The conservation easement property is a favored nesting area for the endangered snowy plovers on Siesta Key. Sarasota Audubon volunteers last week were dealing with two incidents of vandalism to a buffer area not far This week, a witness reported seeing someone from that path. using a tractor to widen a path to the beach After investigating the situation on June 18 through that conservation easement. Although and reviewing the stipulations of the easethe path is supposed to be no more than 4 feet ment, Matt Osterhoudt, manager of conservawide, it is at least double that, according to tion and environmental permitting in the Sarasota County Natural Resources Department, observers. told the News Leader staff members had conA Sarasota News Leader site visit determined firmed the violation regarding the path. They also had talked with the agent of the propthe path is 9 feet wide in numerous places.

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