Education & Advocacy

Supporting Land Conservation Funding

FCG advocates to secure funding for land protection programs at the federal, state, and local levels. On the state level we are focused on the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program and the Florida Forever Program and at the federal level we advocate for Farm Bill Funding (NRCS Easements) and funding our National Wildlife Refuge Landscapes through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. These programs are an ESSENTIAL investment for the well-being of our state to continue to have clean, abundant water and other natural resources that are essential for Florida’s economy and the social well-being of all Floridians and visitors.

Florida has always been a national leader in land protection. Conservation easements are an economically efficient way to protect our natural resources. Our natural and agricultural landscapes are disappearing at a rapid pace; the time to support these programs is now. Our conservation easement programs are needed to protect our state’s water supply and water quality, clean air, wildlife and fisheries, and to maintain the agriculture that is a critical part of our state economy. Land protection isn’t a luxury; it is vital to Florida’s future.

Read More about Florida Forever and The Rural and Family lands Protection Program

FCG Education
Florida Grass
FCG Classes

Reasons to Support RFLPP and Florida Forever

Key message behind the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP) and Florida Forever Conservation Easements.

  1. 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);

  2. As development increases, ranches are under increasing economic pressure to be divided and sold;

  3. Conservation easements protect land at fraction of cost as outright purchase (doubling amount of land we can protect);

  4. Under a conservation easement, the land stays on the tax rolls;

  5. Private management of conservation lands is at no cost to taxpayers;

  6. Florida Forever and RFLPP provide needed options and flexibility to protect most important natural resources, water and sustainable agricultural operations;

  7. RFLPP: focus is sustainable agriculture — keeps land out of development (more flexible);

  8. Florida Forever protects most important natural resources (more restrictive easements);

  9. RFLPP has been partnering with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to leverage state/federal dollars; this allows us protect more land and be efficient with tax dollars;

  10. RFLPP and Florida Forever partner with Department of Defense on conservation easements to protect buffers to military bases (national security);

  11. Ranching is low intensity landuse (the alternative is not something better);

  12. Conservation easements critical for enhancing adjacent public lands (do we want ranches or rooftops adjacent to public lands);

  13. Wetlands on cattle ranches supply natural water storage; they help clean and supply drinking water to millions of people in South Florida;

  14. For many ranches (and other working lands), it boils down to “if not conservation easements, then what?”;

  15. Protecting Florida’s ranchlands can be part of the solution in an overall strategy to address our water issues;

  16. Land Conservation is a bi-partisan issue!