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Land Conservation Funding Leaving Advocates Disappointed — Again

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

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Efforts to get more funding for land conservation is stalling as the legislative session is winding down.

It is the latest setback for advocates since voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment funding land conservation.

The latest Senate budget allocates $45 million toward land conservation, and the House budget puts $20 million toward public lands.

Aliki Moncrief of Florida Conservation Voters says the funding consistently has been less than what was envisioned under the amendment approved in 2014.

“Lawmakers, leadership in particular, they do not like it when citizens put their foot down and say, here’s what we want. You work for us. Go forth, and implement our will. They really don’t like it, and so on Florida Forever I think that’s part of what we’re seeing.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis had called for $100 million, and Central Florida Sen. Linda Stewart was pushing a bill that would have created a $100 million annual allocation.

Advocates want $300 million.

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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 for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »