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Florida lawmakers are advancing a plan to allocate $100 million a year to the land buying program Florida Forever. Last year the legislature zeroed out its funding.

Florida may proclaim itself the “fishing capital of the world,” but wildlife officials say they need more anglers to help cover costs of running state programs.

The same goes for hunters.

This past state legislative session, Florida’s beaches got the most funding for renourishment than they have in more than a decade: $50 million. 

Florida lawmakers have tentatively agreed to pull funding from the state's top land conservation programs.

Judge Tosses Part Of 'Amendment 1' Challenge

Dec 4, 2015
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

A Leon County judge Thursday removed a major part of a lawsuit that contests how lawmakers decided to spend money that voters approved last year for land buying and preservation.

However, an attorney for four environmental groups challenging the state's spending called the ruling a victory.

Amid criticism and even lawsuits over Florida's conversation efforts, the Republican-controlled state House on Tuesday announced an ambitious plan to pay for projects to help restore the state's Everglades.

State Faces Second Challenge On 'Amendment 1' Spending

Nov 15, 2015
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Service

A Gainesville-based environmental group has launched a second legal challenge to how lawmakers carried out a constitutional amendment that requires spending on land acquisition and preservation.

The Florida Defenders of the Environment wants a Leon County circuit judge to block the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of State, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission from spending the dollars in the current fiscal year.

Like all business owners, farmers want to get paid for their work. Sometimes, that work creates problems for the environment, so regulators are advancing the idea of creating environmental markets to allow farmers to make money off of their conservation practices.

Under plans in development, farmers could generate environmental credits by farming in ways that store carbon, filter out water pollution, or preserve wildlife habitat. Those credits could be bought, sold, and traded by companies that need to balance out their own emissions or pollution.

Florida Matters: Enchanted Earth

May 12, 2015
Jim Webb

The Tampa Theatre recently hosted "Enchanted Earth: An Evening with Syliva Earle and Meg Lowman." The conversation with two of America’s most beloved explorers and conservationists was moderated by  was moderated by WUSF's Susan Giles Wantuck.

Amendment 1 Spending Plan Lands Mixed Reviews

Mar 18, 2015
Robin Sussingham / WUSF 89.7 News

Florida's natural springs would get $50 million, the Kissimmee River is in line for $30 million, and a wastewater plan for the Florida Keys is up for $25 million, under a newly released House proposal that would help carry out a voter-approved increase in conservation dollars.

But there are few other clearly outlined projects in a $772.1 million proposal for next fiscal year released Tuesday by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. The proposal is focused more on land management and water projects than on new land acquisitions.

Lawmakers moved a step closer Wednesday to dividing up more than $750 million to meet the conservation demands of Amendment 1. The House and Senate are on a collision course over affordable housing and its piece of the pie.

With the ink barely dry on its water policy legislation, the Florida House is already mapping out a new plan for land conservation. Republican leaders began focusing Friday on Amendment 1 and how it fits in to managing millions of wilderness acres.

floridawaterlandlegacy.org

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy campaign is one step closer to getting a constitutional amendment to fund the Florida Forever land preservation program.

On Thursday, the group announced that it had collected enough signatures to qualify the measure for review by the Florida Supreme Court. A proposed amendment is eligible for state Supreme Court review when its backers collect 10 percent of the total 683,149 signatures required—or 68,314 John Hancocks.