In 2014, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment to provide more funding for acquiring and improving Florida's conservation and recreation lands through programs like Florida Forever. As Florida Conservation Coalition chairman, and former U.S. Senator, Bob Graham said of the Amendment, “The whole purpose of this effort was to reverse the drastic cuts in the Florida Forever program.”
Unfortunately, our elected leaders have failed to restore meaningful funding for acquiring environmentally sensitive lands.
Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) member organizations identified increasing funding for conservation land acquisition as a legislative priority. Last year, the FCC held “Speak Up for Florida Forever” in Jacksonville, and worked with local governments across Florida, to build support for Florida Forever.
The Florida Conservation Coalition is now calling on the Legislature to dedicate at least 25 percent of LATF funds each year to the Florida Forever and Florida Communities Trust programs.
I hope you will share this position statement with your legislators and join us as we speak up for Florida's natural lands.
Florida Conservation Coalition Member Organizations approved the following position statement:
The primary reason the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (WLCA) was proposed and supported by Florida voters was to restore funding for Florida’s landmark conservation and recreation land acquisition programs, including Florida Forever.
The Legislature should statutorily dedicate a minimum of 25 percent of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund each year for land acquisition projects through the Florida Forever program and Florida Communities Trust. These funds must be used for land acquisition (including conservation easement projects) on the approved Acquisition and Restoration Council’s priority list and for Florida Communities Trust (Chapter 380, Part III). Additionally, the Legislature should increase Land Acquisition Trust Fund allocations for land conservation through the Rural and Family Lands program.