Florida Forever Day Aims to Keep Land-Buying Program Afloat

Florida Forever
The Fakahatchee Strand in South Florida is on the Florida Forever list of properties
TALLAHASSEE (2010-4-6) -

Hundreds of people from around the state are expected to converge on the state Capitol Wednesday. They want lawmakers to keep Florida's pioneering land-buying program afloat.

It's called Florida Forever Day - a rally to save the state's program to purchase environmentally sensitive lands. In two decades, it's created nearly two and a half million acres of parks and wildlife refuges.

But last year, Florida Forever was cut from the state budget. This year, the House's version of the budget gives the program nothing, while the state Senate would allocate $15 million - which although is a big drop from previous years - would still keep the program afloat.

Andy McLeod is with the Nature Conservancy's Florida Chapter:

"With no money at all," he says, "it is our our fear is not only projects absolutely grind to a halt, but landowners will begin looking at other options."

The House and Senate should begin reconciling their budget bills next week. Governor Crist says he wants to restore funding for Florida Forever.

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