FCG supports funding for RFLPP
• FDACS Legislative Budget Request: $15 million
• Governor’s Recommended Budget: $0
FCG supports additional funding for Florida Forever.
• Governor’s recommended budget: $50 million.
• More is needed!
Florida has two land protection programs:
Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP)
- Florida Forever purchases land outright as well as conservation easements (focus is native habitat); RFLPP purchases conservation easements on agricultural lands;
- The focus of RFLPP is sustainable agriculture — keeping land out of development (can convert to other forms of agriculture);
- Florida Forever protects most important natural resources (more restrictive easements);
- Conservation easements are a cost-effective way to protect water at the source – protecting land at a fraction of the cost of an outright purchase (doubling the amount of land we can protect);
- Under a Conservation Easement, the land stays on the tax rolls;
- Private management of conservation lands is no cost to taxpayers;
- Ranching is a low intensity land use (alternative is not something better);
- Both programs are needed to protect water and wildlife;
- Conservation Easement programs address 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, which all flow to our coastal estuaries (no need to pay for infrastructure fixes);
- Protecting Florida’s ranchlands can be part of the solution in an overall strategy to address our water issues;
- Land Conservation is a bi-partisan issue!