Public Policy

After Legislature WIthholds Florida Forever Funding, FNPS President Catherine Bowman Releases Statement Inviting Legislators to Attend Local Chapter Field Trips

May 05, 2017

Press Statement by Catherine L. Bowman, President of the Florida Native Plant Society:

 

The Florida Native Plant Society appreciates the Legislature’s decision to approve legislation that will accelerate development of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. It will be good for the Everglades, Florida Bay and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. We were also pleased by passage of the Public Notice of Pollution Act. However, we are very disappointed that funding for land conservation was withheld from Florida Forever.

Voters overwhelmingly approved passage of the Water and Land Legacy Amendment (Amendment 1) in 2014 to ensure continued funding would be available for land conservation, and the legislature should respect the will of those voters. Florida Forever has not been fully funded since 2008 and natural resource protection has suffered as a result. We invite all our legislators to participate in a field trip with their local chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society to see and learn about the real, natural Florida they are charged with protecting.

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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.