Archive for Conservation land purchases

Florida Forever not originally planned to last forever

The state’s conservation-land-buying program, Florida Forever, is planned to end in 2010, but conservationists hope the Legislature will extend Florida Forever beyond that year, a Tallahassee Democrat article says. Starting as early as next year, environmental groups may ask the state to begin a new program to pick up where Florida Forever leaves off. However, funding land purchases is an issue.

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Florida conservation land purchase prices questioned

Did the state of Florida pay too much for Babcock Ranch and other conservation lands? A state audit says appraisals for land prices were “questionable” and possibly inflated, an Ocala Star Banner article says.

In the article, a recent audit looks at Babcock Ranch (the largest amount the state of Florida ever paid for conservation land at $350M) and other instances when the state may have paid an inflated price for land based on what the audit called “hypothetical conditions” to justify a higher value.

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Florida’s idea to fund conservation land program: bonds

The state’s conservation-land-buying program, Florida Forever, is back in the news again. Because of real estate is currently a buyer’s market, the state really wants to buy more land for conservation, the St. Petersburg Times reports. Gov. Charlie Crist had asked the state Legislature for $100M for Florida Forever but was turned down. Now, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (which runs Florida Forever) may decide to issue bonds to come up with a way to fund the program. That’s an interesting idea, and one that conservationists would probably get behind with their dollars.

See the current priority list of lands the state wants to buy for conservation (Word document).

Photo from Florida DEP

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Florida conservation land funding running out

The state of Florida’s conservation-land-buying program, Florida Forever, may be running out of funds, according to this article. Most of the funds are already committed to parcels of land the state is considering for conservation, leaving less money for future purchases. And although Gov. Charlie Crist apparently suggested adding $100M to Florida Forever, state lawmakers said no.

With 589,000 acres already preserved under Florida Forever, the program has so far been successful.

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$3.1M Buys Land for Wildlife Area

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Press release: State reaches Everglades land acquisition milestone

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Environmentalists speak out about need for land conservation

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