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!