Public Policy

Help Protect Conservation Lands – Attend a Local Public Hearing on the DEP Surplus Land Assessment

September 28, 2013

DEP has scheduled four public meetings where the public can comment on the surplus land assessment process.  This is the process by which they are identifying state-owned conservation lands that could be sold back into private ownership.   Although some of the lands they initially identified have been dropped from the list as a result of public opposition, nearly 3,200 acres remain listed as potential surplus lands.  And although many of the parcels they have identified are appropriate to surplus, others are not.  The upcoming public meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to comment in person in favor of retaining public ownership of the parcels that have conservation value and contribute to the protection of native plants and native plant communities.

Here is the meeting schedule:

Pensacola on Monday September 30, from 6-8pm at the Ernie Lee Magaha Building, 221 Palafox Place

Ft. Myers on Thurs October 3, from 6-8pm, Joseph P. D'Alessandro Building, 2295 Victoria Ave Suite 364

Viera on Tues October 8, from 6-8pm, Room C-313, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way

Orlando on Wed October 9, from 6-8pm, DEP Central District Office, 3319 Maguire Boulevard, Suite 232

If you are unable to attend one of these meeting, you can still submit written comments to ARC_mailinglist@dep.state.fl.us

Additional information on the surplus land assessment is available at ARC_mailinglist@dep.state.fl.us    A list of the identified parcels, along with maps and aerials, is available at  http://www.dep.state.fl.us/lands/assessment/maps.htm    

Your comments can make a difference.  To be most effective, you should comment about specific parcels and explain how they remain valuable for conservation purposes.   Thanks for your commitment to the FNPS mission of conserving Florida’s native plants!

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.