Lawmakers Seek to Scuttle Conservation Appeal

Dan Environment, Florida, Legislative

(NSF) — The House, Senate and two state agencies asked the Florida Supreme Court this week to reject an appeal in a fight about how lawmakers carried out a 2014 constitutional amendment aimed at boosting land and water conservation. Attorneys for the Legislature, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services filed briefs Monday asking …


Court Backs Lawmakers in Conservation Fight

Dan Environment, Industry News Release

TALLAHASSEE (NSF-September 9, 2019) — In a blow to environmental groups, an appeals court Monday overturned a circuit judge’s ruling that said state lawmakers improperly diverted money that flowed from a 2014 constitutional amendment designed to boost land and water conservation. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal found that Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson erred …


Florida Rural Family Lands Program Funding in Trouble

Dan Environment, Florida

In one of the strangest legislative years for Florida agriculture in decades, funding for many programs and services critical for farmers and ranchers are hitting a wall. Ranchers in particular are concerned about a program that they feel is critical to protect some of the best managed lands in the state from eventually being gobbled up as the state continues …


Florida Eyes Deepwater Horizon Money for Land Deal

Dan Environment, Florida, Forestry, Industry News Release

Florida officials are looking at using money from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to help shield timber land in Dixie County from future development. Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet next week will decide whether to spend $6.4 million to purchase what is known as a “conservation easement” on nearly 20,000 acres of timber land near the Suwannee River …


Judge Sides with Environmentalists in Land Conservation Dispute

Dan Environment, Florida, Industry News Release

Striking a blow to the Legislature, a Tallahassee judge said state lawmakers failed to comply with a voter-approved constitutional amendment to buy and preserve environmentally sensitive lands. Ruling from the bench Friday, Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson sided with environmental groups in the lawsuit centered on whether lawmakers “defied” the 2014 Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative by improperly …


Governor and Cabinet Surpass 50K Florida Acres Preserved Through RFLPP

Dan Florida, Industry News Release

The Governor and Cabinet approved the preservation of more than 8,300 acres through four cost-effective conservation easements, which prevent future development of the land and allow agricultural operations to continue to contribute to Florida’s economy. The purchases are part of the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP), where the state partners with Florida’s farmers and ranchers to preserve active …


Florida Forever Ready for Senate Approval

Dan Environment, Florida, Legislative

A measure to set aside $100 million a year through the Florida Forever land-preservation program moved a step closer Wednesday to Senate approval. According to a story from the News Service of Florida, the Florida Senate positioned the bill (SB 370) for a vote next week. It would use money from a 2014 voter-approved constitutional amendment aimed at increasing land …

pasture condition

Rural Lands Program Could Run Short of Cash

Dan Industry News Release

by Jim Turner The News Service of Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet could spend about $8.5 million next week to conserve thousands of acres of land owned for decades by two ranching families. Such deals have become a widely used strategy in recent years to protect land from development. But the program that would pay for the …