Public Policy

FNPS Succeeds in Securing Florida Forever Funding!

March 15, 2018

No action required this time!  Just take a moment to enjoy the successful effort to provide much needed funding to the Florida Forever Program.

Senator Rob Bradley stood against House Bill 7063, which would have rewritten how future Florida Forever funding would have been distributed amongst the various land acquisition programs - to the long-term detriment of the program - and negotitated a one-year appropriation of $100.8 million for next year.  $77 million of that will be dedicated to projects already reviewed and approved by the Acquisition and Restoration Council.  Those are the traditional, high conservation value projects that have distinguished Florida Forever as the best land conservation program in the country.

FNPS thanks Senator Bradley, and Senate President Joe Negron, for their firm leadership on this issue.  Senator Bradley's bill (SB 370) passed the Senate unanimously, and would have required at least $100 million for Florida Forever every year.  It is unfortunate the House refused to follow their lead.  But to put $100 million into proper perspective, it exceeds the cumulative total that has gone to "ARC" projects over the last 10 years.

We will continue the fight for a fully funded Florida Forever ($300 million annually) next year.  Thanks to your effective action, we can be grateful for success this year!  And let Senators Bradley and Negron know you appreciate their leadership during a very difficult session.

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Types of Issues Addressed by FNPS

  • General areas considered to be of statewide FNPS significance
  • Any Florida legislative action that affects our state environmental land acquisition program known as Florida Forever, which includes Florida Communities Trust and/or any other state agency funded through Florida Forever (DEP). This includes, but is not limited to, any legislation affecting funding of the program. It also includes the urgent need to fund the Florida Forever program.
  • All state and local land acquisition efforts for preservation and conservation.
  • Any statewide policy changes that enhance improve or further natural resource system protection within recognized preserves and/or reserve or state park refuge.
  • Development issues that are regional or have statewide significance in that they affect a change in Florida policy towards land acquisition, natural resource systems or waters of the state, but only if the issue clearly relates to the FNPS mission to preserve, conserve and restore native plants and native plant communities.
  • Any state legislative, state agency or state university action that would affect the viability (or lack thereof) of native plants and native plant communities. This includes, but is not limited to, state policy on exotic invasive species, water conservation, listed plant species, and cataloging of native plant communities.

General areas considered not to be of statewide significance include

  • Issues that are primarily related to managing the way a local jurisdiction grows or the methods it uses to plan growth. Unless it can be shown to meet criteria number four in the previous section.
  • Issues that are primarily transportation related unless the issue is of at least regional significance and would impact an established preserve/reserve/state park refuge/or a functional ecologically sensitive ecosystem.
  • Issues that involve local jurisdictional ordinances or land development codes.