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 Lands Protection Program Top Tier: 222,136 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

 

What we are asking: 2019 Budget

Provide $100 million in funds for the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program
Restore $100 million in funding for Florida Forever Land Conservation projects

 

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 125,000 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; 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 landown

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