September 11, 2019

DURANDO OKEECHOBEE WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

The Florida Conservation Group is proud to be working with Business for Water Stewardship www.businessforwater.org and the Durando Family Ranches to implement a dispersed water storage project in the Lake Okeechobee Watershed. This project will store and clean water prior to entering the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, the Kissimmee River, and ultimately Lake Okeechobee. Thank you to our partners: Lefty Durando, Audubon Florida and National Wildlife Refuge Association for the assistance! And thank you to the Business for Water Stewardship for...

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August 20, 2019

NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

• ACEP provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits • NRCS helps landowners protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land and for working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture; • NRCS accepts ACEP applications on a continuous basis, but funding selections are typically made once a year. For general questions on NRCS conservation easements please contact: Roney Gutierrez Roney.Gutierrez@fl.usda.gov - 352-338-9502 Wetlands Reserve...

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August 20, 2019

NRCS Agricultural Land Easement Program (ALE)

Several NRCS programs are available to landowners interested in land conservation, including the Agricultural Land Easement Program (ALE). The ALE is a partnership program and is geared for working landscapes. NRCS provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land. The ALE program will provide up to 50% match for working agricultural lands and 75% where there are grasslands of special significance. NRCS does not purchase these easements, rather...

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August 20, 2019

NRCS Wetland Reserve Easement Program (WRE)

WRE’s are critical to the protection of Florida’s water resources. WRE’s PREVENT further decreases in water quality through land protection and ADDRESS water quality issues by restoring wetlands so they can hold and clean water before it reaches our coastal estuaries. Several NRCS programs are available to landowners interested in land conservation, including the Wetland Reserve Easement Program (WRE).WRE’s purchases conservation easements on degraded or former wetlands in need of restoration. Wetlands that have been converted into other agricultural uses are prioritized....

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July 12, 2019

Conservation Partners Project Underway in Southwest/South-central Florida

A National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Conservation Partners Grant The Conservation Partners Project (CPP), funded through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is underway in Florida. This innovative partnership between the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Florida Conservation Group seeks to protect habitat on private lands and restore wetlands in Southwest and South-central Florida. The project provides outreach, education and technical assistance to landowners who are smaller, disadvantaged and historically underserved. The work will focus on outreach and identification...

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June 18, 2019

Watch Video | Florida’s Land Conservation Programs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUJ9V-Sed_E&feature=youtu.be

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June 18, 2019

Watch Video | Ranchlands and Our Water; Conserving Our Natural Resources

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wHtAW8M2IQ&feature=youtu.be

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April 24, 2019

Please watch and share this brief video on Florida’s Land Conservation Programs and the importance of Florida’s ranchlands to our water resources.

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April 24, 2019

Florida’s legislative session ends NEXT WEEK and there is NO funding for Rural and Family Lands Protection Program in the budget!

Please call or email the legislators below–ESPECIALLY if you have a personal relationship! Let them know you support funding Rural and Family Lands and Florida Forever.     Senators to Contact:   Senator Wilton Simpson     https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S10 Legislative Aide:  Patty Harrison                     (850) 487-5010 harrison.patty@flsenate.gov   Senator Debbie Mayfield                                                                                       https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S17 Legislative Aide:  Adrienne Cronebaugh         (850) 487-5017           cronebaugh.adrienne@flsenate.gov   Senator Bobby Powell https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S30 Legislative Aide:  Tomas Alcala                     (850) 487-5030 alcala.tomas@flsenate.gov   Senator Ben Albrittonhttps://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S26 Legislative Aide:  Andrew Liebert                  (850) 487-5026 liebert.andrew@flsenate.gov   Senator Aaron Bean                                                                       ...

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March 28, 2019

Land Conservation Funding in Danger! Your Voice is Needed!

We applaud Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for their strong commitment to fix Florida’s water quality problems. We strongly believe that an approach to address blue-green algae blooms and red tide must also begin at the source, by protecting landscapes that can hold and clean water before it flows into our rivers and coastal estuaries Currently there is 45 Million in the Senate budget for Florida Forever and ZERO for Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP). The House has 20...

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March 13, 2019

NRCS Conservation Easement Programs: Accepting Applications until April 25th!!

The application cycle for NRCS Conservation Easement Programs is still open. NRCS accepts ACEP applications on a continuous basis, but funding selections are typically made once a year. Please submit your applications by April 25thto be considered for this year’s funding!   For general questions on NRCS conservation easements please contact: Roney Gutierrez Roney.Gutierrez@fl.usda.gov 352-338-9502 If you are interested in pursuing a Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) please contact: Crenel Francis Crenel.francis@fl.usda.gov  352-338-9508 If you are interested in the Agricultural Land Easement Program (ALE), or...

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March 12, 2019

Florida Ranchlands: Protecting Our Watersheds

Simple, Efficient and Effective Land conservation is essential for achieving watershed protection goals. Protecting high-quality habitat means CATCHING and KEEPING rain right where it falls and prevents water from rapidly running off into our estuaries and other water bodies. Land conservation doesn’t require pumping or building infrastructure. It is Simple, Efficient and Effective! Florida Ranchlands Hold and Filter Water Cattle ranches are a primary (and low intensity) rural land use in the watersheds of southern Florida; they provide essential wildlife habitat and...

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January 25, 2019

NRCS Conservation Easement Programs Update: 1/25/2019

The application cycle for funding NRCS Conservation Easement Programs is still open. NRCS accepts Conservation Easement applications on a continuous basis (please note that program requirements and forms are subject to change as guidance is provided for implementation of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018). For general questions on NRCS conservation easements please contact: Roney Gutierrez Roney.Gutierrez@fl.usda.gov 352-338-9502 If you are interested in pursuing a Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) please contact: Crenel Francis Crenel.francis@fl.usda.gov (352) 338-9508 If you are interested in the...

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December 18, 2018

Land Conservation and our Water Resources

The Florida Conservation Group believes in a holistic approach to addressing our water resource issues. Our waterways have issues because our watersheds have issues. We focus on addressing the underlying problems, namely PROTECTING and REHYDRATING our watersheds. Focusing on incentive-based solutions, and working with private landowners is critical to our water quality. Florida's ranchlands can be part of the solution in an overall strategy to address our water issues. FCG's work in protecting our water resources in Florida rural landscapes includes (not...

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October 5, 2018

Preserving Old Florida

  “People don’t come to Florida to see a subdivision, they want to see green space. My goal is to encourage other ranchers to acquire easements to preserve this land for the future. We are losing our state.” –Cary Lightsey Are you a private landowner interested in a conservation easement? Wetland Reserve Easements provide financial and technical assistance to ranchers and farmers to protect and restore wetlands. Agricultural land easements provide funds to partners, such as state and local governments, Indian tribes...

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February 26, 2018

Florida’s Land Conservation Programs

Florida Conservation Group (FCG) advocates on behalf of landowners from around the state for Rural and Family Lands and Florida Forever funding. These programs protect our water and wildlife for future generations. FCG has teamed with the Florida Cattlemen’s Association to ask our legislature to invest in natural and agricultural Florida and fund these programs. 2019 Budget Request Provide $100 million in funds for the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program Restore $100 million in funding for Florida Forever conservation easement projects...

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February 2, 2018

Landowner Advocacy for Land Conservation Programs

  Florida Conservation Group advocates on behalf of landowners from around the state for Rural and Family Lands and Florida Forever funding. These programs protect our water and wildlife for future generations. We've teamed with the Florida Cattlemen’s Association to ask our legislature to invest in natural and agricultural Florida and fund these programs. Contact us for more info: info@floridaconserve.org   Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP) Agricultural Conservation Easement Program under Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. RFLPP’s primary...

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February 2, 2018

Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands Protection Program

RFLPP and Florida Forever Conservation Easements are critical to the health of the landscape; they both protect water quality and supply for urban areas, maintain our agricultural economy,  and protect Florida’s tourist economy.    

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February 2, 2018

Conservation Planning

We engage in sound science-based conservation planning. There are many land conservation programs and we are very experienced in assisting landowners to identify and work with the appropriate programs. Our expertise includes both the latest conservation science and policy and program expertise. We are experts in identifying ecological priorities on a local, state and federal level, and individual properties based on the ecological attributes established as national, state, and regional conservation priorities. We are also experts on federal listed species and other...

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November 14, 2017

Florida’s 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.   Background 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 in Rural and Family...

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