Florida Forever Coalition Press Statement on Governor Scott’s 2015 Budget Proposal
Contact: Janet Bowman – The Nature Conservancy – 850-251-9496, Manley Fuller – Florida Wildlife Federation – 850-567-7129, Laurie MacDonald – Defenders of Wildlife – 727-580-9585, Charles Pattison – 1000 Friends of Florida – 850-322-3144
Florida Forever Coalition Press Statement on Governor Scott’s Budget Proposal
The Florida Forever Coalition recommends $100 million for land conservation and $25 million for Rural and Family Lands. We understand that the Governor’s budget proposal is for $30 million from general revenue and $40 million from the sale of non-conservation lands.
Now that the economy is recovering and growth is putting pressure on lands proposed for conservation, the state should move urgently to restart Florida Forever. Funds from the sale of non-conservation lands is an appropriate but uncertain source for Florida Forever. Florida’s identified conservation needs are much greater than the Governor’s proposal. Many priority projects have been lingering. In addition the time is right to work with Florida’s ranchers and foresters to secure important economic uses for the future through the Rural and Family Lands program, which was just approved by the Cabinet on January 22.