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Groundswell Calls For Veto Of New Toll Roads In Rural Florida

Erin Ragheb of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aims to catch a Florida grasshopper sparrow as the sun rises over the Central Florida prairie. Photo by Amy Green

Ninety conservation and civic groups are calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto a measure that would make way for three toll roads across rural Florida.

Opponents of the toll roads fear they will encourage sprawl.

The toll roads would stretch from Collier County to Polk County, from Citrus County to Jefferson County and from the northern end of the Florida Turnpike to the Suncoast Parkway.

The cost is projected to reach into the billions of dollars.

In a letter the groups say the roads would not alleviate traffic but rather encourage sprawl across the state’s heartland, threatening habitat for protected species like the Florida panther.

The letter is signed by an array of groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the League of Women Voters of Florida and Farmworker Association of Florida.

DeSantis’ office had no immediate comment. Lawmakers also approved a state budget putting $33 million toward land conservation, down from $300 million in decades past.

 


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor to NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and other top news organizations. She is a Florida native with a zeal for chronicling the spurts and pains of ... Read Full Bio »

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