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Showing posts from March, 2015

No Funding for Land Conservation is a Legislative Insult to Voters

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Are you one of the 4.2 million voters who supported Amendment 1 in the last election? If so, did you believe a primary purpose of the funding was to finance the purchase of additional natural areas as a way to help protect our water resources, wildlife, rivers, beaches and scenic vistas? The Florida legislature doesn’t believe that is what voters actually had in mind when 75% of them voted for passage of Amendment 1.

Is there another way to explain why the House and Senate budgets include NOTHING for the purchase of land through the Florida Forever Program? Our will as voters is essentially being preempted by the people we pay to represent us in Tallahassee! Unless you like being slapped in the face, let's stop this disenfranchisement once and for all.

The Senate budget currently proposes to allocate $2 million to purchase conservation easements. The more “generous” House budget would spend $10 million to purchase conservation easements. Neither chamber proposes to allocate ANYTH…

Legislative Update to the F.N.P.S. 2015 Session, Weeks 1 and 2

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By the F.N.P.S. Policy and Legislation Committee

Native Plant Conservation Funds

In drafting the Senate legislation to restructure trust funds to implement Amendment 1 (SB 584), the termination of the CARL Program Trust Fund within Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) has created the unintended consequence of eliminating the $250,000 annual transfer from the DEP CARL Trust Fund to the DACS Plant Industry Trust Fund for the Endangered or Threatened Native Flora Conservation Grants program. FNPS lobbyist Sue Mullins met with DACS and DEP officials about the unfortunate by-product of this bill, and will meet with House Budget Chair Albritton to rectify the situation. We originally had $300,000 in our budget line item for the program, of which we expect to restore at least $250,000.

The bill restructures the trust funds to implement the constitutional requirement that documentary stamp taxes directed for environmental purposes must not be commingled with the General Revenue Fun…

Know Before You Grow: All Lantanas Are NOT Created Equal

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By Laurie Sheldon


Lantana camara, commonly known as lantana and/or shrub verbena, can (unfortunately) be found throughout the state of Florida. It is a Category 1 invasive species, according to the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Category 1 species are defined as

"Invasive exotics that are altering native plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structures or ecological functions, or hybridizing with natives. This definition does not rely on the economic severity or geographic range of the problem, but on the documented ecological damage caused."

These plants are being marketed as "Flowers for Florida" and sold at many big-box home improvement stores. DO NOT BE FOOLED by this rather deceptive advertising. Although they do GROW in Florida, they are in no way FOR Florida.



Lantana montevidensis (left), sometimes referred to as "trailing shrubverbena," is another non-native species. Its flowers are pink or lilac with long (8-20mm…

The Tidiness Dilemma

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 By Devon Higginbotham

They were driving me nuts!  I have a couple dead Pecan trees in my yard and periodically they drop large dead limbs with gobs of moss.  It’s been a long time since I have seen a green leaf on either of them.  The wood is decayed and crumbly so it’s not difficult to collect the fallen limbs (there are no branches left) but I was dying to chop them down.

Last month, as I lugged another fallen limb to the trash, I looked at one trunk that had slowly dwindled down to 20 ft in height. There is a hole at the base of the tree large enough for a family of hobbits to pass through.  The interior is dark and mysterious and I envisioned a raccoon charging out, obviously very inconvenienced by my snooping into his home, but all I saw was darkness.  No one seemed home.   I suppose it’s time to get rid of them.  My neighbors had been quietly asking the same question.  “Why is she keeping those behemoths?  What an eyesore!”

So I thought, “It’s time to take them down!”  I made a…