After this year’s dismal allocation for land conservation, Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) Member and Affiliate Groups have been coordinating their activities through the FCC in a focused effort to secure meaningful funding for protecting Florida’s vital natural and working lands during the 2018 Legislative session.
The primary reason Florida voters passed the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment One) in 2014 was to restore funding for the acquisition of conservation and recreation lands. Since the amendment passed, the Legislature has dedicated funds annually for the Everglades, Springs, and Lake Apopka. Bills have already been introduced for the 2018 session which would dedicate further Amendment One dollars. However, no funds have been reserved for land conservation. It is time this changes.
Conserving natural and recreational lands is one of the most important things we can do to protect Florida’s environment and economy for present and future generations. Accordingly, the Florida Conservation Coalition has adopted a position statement that calls on the Florida Legislature to pass legislation during the 2018 session that:
Annually dedicates the largest share of funds in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund (LATF) to the acquisition of natural areas, working farms and ranches, and close-to-home recreation opportunities through the Acquisition and Restoration Council’s scientifically-ranked Florida Forever Priority List, the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, and the Florida Communities Trust.
In the coming months, there will be many opportunities for you to participate in our fight to save special places that protect our water supply, provide important wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities, and help to prevent flooding. From commenting at a local meeting to writing opinion pieces in your local paper, citizen advocacy will be critical to our success. Please respond to this message and let me know if you can help!
Thank you for all you do.