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Florida Forever

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 Governor Rick Scott is unveiling his plans for environmental spending ahead of the 2018 lawmaking session.

A state senator is trying to put $100 million a year into the land conservation program Florida Forever.  The Legislature didn’t appropriate anything for it this year.

Some of Florida’s military supporters are lining up behind the state’s land acquisition program. Unlikely allies are joining forces to defend Florida Forever.

Former U.S. Sen. and Florida Gov. Bob Graham says the Legislature’s decision not to fund Florida Forever is a blatant violation of Amendment 1, the 2014 conservation amendment.

The Florida Cabinet is approving two significant land acquisitions through Florida Forever.  But state lawmakers refused to put more money in the program’s trust fund this year.

Advocates are developing a Florida Forever rescue strategy for next year, even before Governor Rick Scott weighs in on the Legislature’s $82.4 billion spending plan.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, considered the GOP frontrunner in next year’s governor’s race, is slamming the Legislature’s $82.4 billion spending plan.

Florida's Rural Lands Program Could Run Short Of Cash

May 20, 2017
Florida Wildlife Corridor

Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet could spend about $8.5 million next week to conserve thousands of acres of land owned for decades by two ranching families.

Such deals have become a widely used strategy in recent years to protect land from development.

But the program that would pay for the deals in Okeechobee and Highlands counties --- known as the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program --- could be out of money by 2018, even with funds carried over from the current year's budget.

The Knight Foundation

The Florida Legislature has voted to eliminate funding for Florida Forever, the state's primary land-conservation program.

The only part of Florida Forever that is receiving any money this coming year is $10 million dollars for ranchers to not develop their land.  Since 2001, the state has spent nearly $3 billion to buy more than 700,000 acres of land.

The Florida House is pushing to change how money in one of the state’s primary environmental trust funds is spent.  But most lawmakers were in the dark about how much money the fund will get as the measure went to a vote.

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

A bill that looks to "un-muddy" the mission of Florida's main environmental land acquisition program could potentially affect the plan for an Everglades reservoir.

Updated at 11 a.m. Tuesday

On the wall behind Jim McCarthy’s desk hangs a large photograph of a skeletonized tree trunk resting on the iconic Boneyard Beach at Big Talbot Island State Park.

“That beach is important,” said McCarthy, president of North Florida Land Trust. Since 2012, the nonprofit organization has preserved most of the over 1,000 acres of privately owned land on the island. The project, which protects migratory birds’ layover spots and diamondback terrapins’ dwellings, is largely financed by a private fund.


Environmentalists are breathing a sigh of relief after a powerful House Republican agreed to back down from his controversial “use it or lose it,” approach to state land.

Florida Forever could become Florida Never if Republicans have their way. As Jim Ash reports, that’s how critics are describing paltry spending proposals in the House and Senate for what was once the nation’s largest wilderness preservation programs.

Continued uncertainty over federal health funding is causing budget pains in the Florida legislature. The House and Senate have a $4 billion  gap in their proposed spending plans for the upcoming fiscal year—and that’s largely due to disagreements over the biggest part of state spending: Medicaid.

The first floor of the Capital is swarming with people dashing back and forth—some pushing frantically at the slow-running elevators, others giving up—and dashing up the stairwells instead. Off to the side, is 23-year-old Broward resident Matt Ross.

Cabinet Considers Land Sales To Help Fund Florida Forever

Jun 14, 2014

The Florida Legislature has essentially gutted Florida Forever, the state's main land-buying program, starving it of any money needed to buy new environmentally-sensitive land during the past three years. And with no end in sight to the state's budget woes, that likely won't change any time soon.