Public Policy

Support Funding for Endangered Plant Research

April 03, 2014

It is time to stand up for native plants by expressing your support for the grant program that supports research and conservation projects for endangered and threatened plants, and for the land conservation programs that help protect habitat for native plants and wildlife; safeguard water resources; and provide places for people to recreate and enjoy nature. The Florida House has put forward a budget that includes funding for these important needs, and we need the Florida Senate to follow their lead.

Please contact Senator Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) and ask him to support the House budget that provides:

• $240,000 for grants to study and conserve endangered and threatened plants in the Dept. of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Trust Fund (Line Item 1508).

• $15 million for Rural and Family Lands Conservation Easements (Line Item 1431A).

• $70 million for Florida Forever spending (Line Item 1583).

Tell him you prefer the position the House has adopted, especially the grant funding for endangered and threatened plants. Remind him that the benefits of protecting agricultural lands are two-fold: we protect the economic viability and value of the agricultural industry, and we conserve important habitat areas and wildlife corridors while allowing the lands to remain in private ownership and under private management. Tell him to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate budget proposals by supporting the House proposal.

You can reach Senator Hays by telephone at either his Tallahassee office (850-487-5011) or District office (352-742-6441), or by email at Hays.Alan.web@flsenate.gov.

While you’re at it, why don’t you please contact Representative Ben Albritton (R-Wauchula) at his Tallahassee office (850-717-5056) and thank him for the House position, and encourage him to “hold the line” on these items when budget negotiations start between the House and Senate.

 

Be an Advocate for Native Plants

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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.