Land Conservation Funding: Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP)

FDACS Legislative Budget Request: $32.6 million
FCG ASK: 32.6 Million

Since 2009 RFLPP has protected over 53,000 acres. Local and federal partners have contributed over 13 million in matching funds.

 

  • The Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP) is an agricultural easement program through the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Florida Forest Service; it is designed to protect important agricultural lands through the acquisition of permanent land conservation easements;
  • There are currently 237,000acres of land on the Tier 1 RFLPP List and about 373,000 acres on all Tiers – land that is in the que for conservation;
  • RFLPP partners with other programs to leverage funding (extremely efficient use of taxpayer dollars);currently there are over$20 millionin partner funds obligated (more anticipated next FY) andwithout RLPP funding these partner dollars will be lost:
    • RFLPP partners with Department of Defense to protect critical buffers to our military bases (protects national security); the Military currently has approx. 5 Million dollars currently obligated to RFLPPto buffer military bases (this money lost if RFLPP not funded);
    • RFLPP partners with NRCS (USDA through the FARM bill; NRCS currently has 17 Million dollarscurrently obligated to RFLPP projects (this money lost if RFLPP not funded);
  • The $32.6 Million budget request for RFLPP was based off estimated acquisition costs using the above obligated funding and the anticipated FY 20/21 partner funding (RFLPP leveraging projects with matching federal dollars- essentially doubling the money);
  • RFLPP addresses our water quality issues at the SOURCE; protecting these intact rural landscapes means holding and cleaning water BEFORE it flows into the rivers and lakes (negating need for future infrastructure fixes),
  • Conservation easements make good fiscal sense. These easements protect land at fraction of cost of an outright purchase, thereby doubling the amount of land that can be protected;
  • Under a conservation easement, the land stays on the tax roles; private management of conservation lands is no cost to taxpayers;
  • As development increases, working lands are under increasing economic pressure to be divided and sold;

 

Please contact your legislators about RFLPP funding!

Click here for a list of legislators and their contact information

 

 

 

 

 

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