Tel. 941.234.7201
Nokomis, Florida 34275


Why is Land Conservation Important?
The protection of natural and agricultural lands are necessary for a vital economy and healthy communities. Public and private conservation lands and the services they provide are just as important to our economy and well-being as are our roads, residences, and businesses. Natural and agricultural lands are critical to our quality of life. These lands support us: they protect our water supply, clean our water, and provide flood control, storm protection, food, recreation and clean air. Land conservation isn't an amenity value; it is vital to our future.


Florida’s Land Conservation Programs

Funding our state land conservation programs -- Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP) – is crucial to the future of Florida and a sound economic decision. Investing in these programs is the most cost effective way to protect our water and natural resources.


Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP)
Agricultural Conservation Easement Program under Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. RFLPP’s primary mission is the protection of agricultural lands.

  • Acres enrolled inRural and Family Lands Protection Program Top Tier: 222,136 acres (total acres enrolled- 328,734 acres)

Florida Forever
Florida’s conservation lands program under Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FF Program does BOTH fee-simple and conservation easements). The primary goals of Florida Forever conservation easements are to: protect high priority natural resource areas and ensure our water resources are protected.

  • Current acres on Less-Than-Fee Florida Forever Project list: 703,079 acres


RFLPP and Florida Forever are critical to the health of the landscape; they both protect water quality and supply for urban areas, maintain our agricultural economy, protect Florida’s tourist economy and military base buffers. Both programs partner with other local, state and federal programs to leverage resources and maximize protection benefits. Funding these conservation easement programs is an investment in Florida's future and is critical to our quality of life.

  • We are losing natural/agricultural land at rate of 175,000 acres a year;
  • Private lands protect Florida’s water and natural resources;
  • These programs are the most cost effective way to preserve our water resources;
  • We can invest a little now or a LOT later to restore our watersheds;
  • Private lands protect drinking water supply and water quality/quantity to our urban areas;
  • Private lands critical to aquifer recharge;
  • Protection of water resources for fraction of cost of outright purchase;
  • RFLPP protects our food security and agricultural economy; Florida Forever protects our critical water resources;
  • Land stays on tax roles/private ownership;
  • Management costs responsibility of landowner


Rooney, Perdue View Ranchers’ Land and Water Conservation Efforts

Aug 18, 2017  Press Release

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FORT MYERS, FL – This morning, Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17) and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue observed critical water quality and land conservation projects during a helicopter tour over  South Florida and discussed the importance of reauthorizing these programs in the upcoming Farm Bill. These water and conservation projects help Florida’s farmers and ranchers coordinate with state and federal agencies to share in the stewardship of preserving and protecting the state’s natural beauty. The two were joined by Jim Strickland, owner of the Strickland Ranch, Vice Chairman of the Florida Conservation Group and a former president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association; Julie Morris, the Conservation Program Manager at the National Wildlife Refuge Association; and Russell Morgan, the Florida Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture...

Contine reading


Conservation Easement on Corona Ranch Approved by Governor and Cabinet

Oct 17, 2017
The Florida Conservation Group (FCG) is thankful to the Governor and Cabinet for approving a new 2500-acre conservation easement under the Rural and family Lands Protection Program. The Corona Ranch conservation easement is located in the Everglades Headwaters, just a stones throw from the Kissimmee River. We are grateful to our partners: the Corona Family, Audubon of Florida and the National Wildlife Refuge Association for all of their efforts to protect this ecologically valuable property. The Corona Ranch plays a critical role in our efforts to protect the Lake Okeechobee watershed, and the drinking water for millions of people in urbanized areas. The ranch contains significant wetlands that are crucial to Kissimmee river restoration efforts; ranchlands ability to hold and store water is an important and cost-effective tool in our collective Everglades restoration efforts.

Conservation Easements are the most economically viable option to protect Florida's land and water resources. FCG advocates for funding to protect Florida’s water, wildlife and way of life.


Trying to Save Florida’s Landscape
Apr 8, 2017
By Zac Anderson

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Tommy Clay Jr.: Preserving land and saving farms

Posted Apr 30, 2017 at 2:01 AM
By Tommy Clay Jr. / Special to the Star-Banner

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Funding Needed to Preserve and Protect Florida Ag

March 13th, 2017
by Josh McGill

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Protect the Future of Florida’s Food and Water

March 20th, 2017
by Abbey Taylor

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Another Perspective: Florida ranchlands protect the Everglades headwaters

February 17, 2017
By David "Lefty" Durando, Guest columnist

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Perspective: Cattle ranches are key to preserving Florida for all of us

January 27, 2017
Story By Jim Strickland, Photos by Carlton Ward Jr., Special to the Tampa Bay Times

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State funding in jeopardy for land conservation programs

Posted Apr 30, 2017 at 4:26 PM
By Cleveland Tinker 

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Uphill challenge as Florida ranch owners push for easement funding


Posted 02/13/17 05:39 AM EST
By Bruce Ritchie

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FGC Board
Chair David ‘Lefty’ Durando
Vice Chair Jim Strickland
Treasurer Bryan Archer
Technical Advisor Dr. Tom Hoctor






Our Commitment
Our work is in some of the only remaining large-scale landscapes in Florida. Our commitment to the conservation of natural and agricultural lands includes promoting and implementing land protection projects, private landowner incentives and engaging in science based conservation planning.



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florida conservation group

Florida Conservation Group is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Our federal tax ID number is 47-1365766

Tel. 941.234.7201    Nokomis, Florida 34275

© Florida Conservation Group • All Rights Reserved