ken_salazar_web_3.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ A new 150,000-acre wildlife refuge would be established in the Everglades headwaters south of Orlando under a plan announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.


Salazar said Friday the refuge would protect wildlife in the Kissimmee River valley and the area's ranching heritage. It would also improve Lake Okeechobee water quality.

Preliminary plans call for the government to buy about 50,000 acres. The remaining 100,000 acres would protected under agreements with private landowners.

Salazar recently announced plans to replace an additional 5.5 miles of the cross-Florida Tamiami Trail with bridges to improve water flowing into Everglades National Park.

The proposals are among those to restore the Everglades.