FNPS Working to Restore Land Acquisition Funding
Under the leadership of Committee Chair Gene Kelly, the FNPS Policy Committee has worked for a decade to educate our members and explain the importance of restoring land acquisition funding for the Florida Forever program to historic levels of around $300 million a year.
Since 2007, when Florida Forever was essentially abandoned by the legislature, FNPS members gathered signatures to put Amendment 1 on the ballot to restore funding for this land acquisition and land management program designed to prevent the extinction of entire communities of plants and animals.
And after Amendment 1 passed with 75% of the vote, and the will of the people was ignored, the Policy Committee continued its work undeterred.
This year, FNPS member Joan Bausch brought this issue to the attention of Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, a commissioner for the Constitution Revision Commission. Together with attorneys Sue Mullins and Clay Henderson, Ms. Thurlow-Lippisch has sponsored proposal #46 to help clarify the intent of the voters with regard to restoring funding for Florida Forever.
Another vitally important program for land preservation in Florida is the The Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. This sister program to Florida Forever, preserves rural landcapes through both acquisition and conservation easements. Many Florida cattle ranchers have been instrumental in the preservation of lands that provide habitat for native plant communities and wildlife while also protecting wetlands and our water resources.