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Triple N Ranch - History

Florida Longhorn steer
Betsy Purdum - Florida Longhorn

Triple N Ranch Wildlife Management Area was once part of the last large, open area where cattle roamed free in the United States. Open range ranching continued in Florida until 1949, when the Florida Legislature passed a law requiring cattle to be fenced. The rugged Florida cow, a small, bony, long-horned descendant of Spanish cattle, 
was able to survive heat, bugs and the poor forage of the rural central Florida palmetto prairie.

This rural area was sparsely populated during the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the area south of Orlando was the only place east of the Mississippi where the population density was less than two people per square mile. Yet, evidence of a few homesteads are found throughout Triple N Ranch property.

The 8,893-acre Triple N Ranch was acquired by FWC and the St. Johns River Water Management District using Save Our Rivers funds and partly appropriated from Preservation 2000 bonds. Portions of the Triple N Ranch property were acquired in November 1994 and the main tract was established by FWC in July, 1995 as Triple N Ranch Wildlife Management Area. Prior to state acquisition, the land was used as a cattle ranch and hunting preserve for family and friends of the owners. Since 1997, FWC has acquired the McNamara, Equitable, Yates and Vanosdol tracts.