Florida Forever Rally on March 8, 2011

Even though there were competing rallies,
Dr. Loran Anderson a member of the Magnolia
Chapter gained the attention of the media.
It was a glorious, “Chamber of Commerce” day in Tallahassee for the opening day of the 2011 legislative session and “Florida Forever Day.”  This annual event grows each year and does a fantastic job of showing our legislators and fellow Floridians how great the Florida Forever program is.  

This important lobbying day for Florida’s environment took place on at the Florida Capitol Courtyard from 10AM-2PM, with a speaking program at 12PM.

Florida Forever http://supportfloridaforever.org
Florida Forever was created in 2001 to succeed the extremely successful Preservation 2000 conservation program. Under Florida Forever and Preservation 2000, Florida has protected more than 2.4 million acres of land. To name just a few successes, Florida Forever has protected:
53,600 acres of springs and springsheds.
5,190 acres of fragile coastline.
300,000 acres of sustainable forest lands.
158,700 acres of working agricultural lands.

The Florida Forever and The Nature Conservancy tables

Florida Forever Steering Committee includes: 1000 Friends of Florida, Audubon of Florida, Defenders of Wildlife, Everglades Trust, Florida Recreation and Park Association, Florida Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land

Two FNPS tables from the Magnolia Chapter
and the Sarracenia Chapter

It was so windy that folks from the Magnolia
Chapter had to tie their lovely native plant
bouquet to the table leg with duct tape!

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda speaks to the crowd.
Florida Forever Day Talking Points
Young folks protecting their future. 
· It doesn’t make sense to cut conservation lands, because they help the state’s bottom line. They are economic engines that bring visitors and revenue to Florida.
· This is a smart time to keep funding Florida Forever–while land is cheap, so the state can buy it for the public at good prices. The state must be a smart investor of taxpayer dollars.   
· Florida Forever provides places for Floridians to hunt, fish, and recreate. These lands protect our outdoor heritage for future generations. 
· Land conservation protects our natural resources and makes sure Floridians have access to clean and abundant water.
· Florida Forever grows our economy by protecting working ranches, farms and forests. 
·Florida Forever protects Florida’s unique variety of plants and animals, such as the Florida panther, Florida black bear, and numerous rare birds. 
Facts & Figures
· Hunting, fishing and wildlife watching in Florida generate $6.8 billion in annual retail sales, nearly $706 million in state and local taxes, and have an overall economic impact of about $11.6 billion.
· For every 1,000 people attending a state park, the total direct impact on the local community is more than $43,000, a 2008 DEP study found.
· More than 140,000 Florida jobs are provided directly by hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, and state parks.
· Florida Forever has protected more than 53,600 acres of springs and springsheds. 
· Florida Forever has helped preserve more than 158,700 acres of working agricultural lands. 

FNAI (Florida's Natural Areas Inventory) table

As reported by Florida DEP
Florida Forever is Florida’s premier conservation and recreation lands acquisition program, a blueprint for conserving natural resources and renewing Florida’s commitment to conserve the state’s natural and cultural heritage. Florida Forever replaces Preservation 2000(P2000), the largest public land acquisition program of its kind in the United States. With approximately 9.8 million acres of conservation land in Florida, more than 2.4 million acres were purchased under the Florida Forever and P2000 programs.
Between its inception in July 2001 to the present, the Florida Forever program has acquired more than 667,832 acres of land with $2.8 billion. During this time,Florida Forever has protected:
· 252,940 acres of strategic habitat conservation areas,
· 424,300 acres of rare species habitat conservation areas, including over 660 sites that are habitats for over 255 different rare species, 113 of which are state-listed as endangered, 48 state-listed threatened, and 21 species of special concern,
· 642,310 acres of ecological greenways,
· 105,690 acres of under-represented natural communities,
· 76,920 acres of natural floodplains,
· 653,820 acres important to significant water bodies,
· 5,140 acres of fragile coastline,
· 282,840 acres of functional wetlands,
· 630,230 acres of significant groundwater recharge areas,
· 220 kilometers of land to support priority recreational trails,
· 303,830 acres of sustainable forest land,
· 576 archaeological and historic sites

Please contact your state legislators and let them know how you feel about Florida Forever. Not only is it smart for commercial reason, but also Florida's future is at stake.

Sweet Bay Natural Area

Sandhill cranes need open areas in Florida to survive.

Thanks to Ann Redmond
FNPS President and our reporter on the scene


Holly Davenport said…
Florida Forever Day was a tremendous success, thanks to wonderful partners like the FNPS! Approximately 25 organizations and state agencies tabled at Florida Forever Day, from environmental non-profits like the Nature Conservancy and Audubon of Florida, to recreational groups like the Florida Trail Association, to state agencies such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Visitors to the Capitol Courtyard enjoyed live music, lunch, guest speakers, and a variety of educational displays. Most importantly, the Florida Forever Coalition was highly visible on the first day of the legislative session. Many thanks to the FNPS for your help in making Florida Forever Day a success! -Holly Davenport, The Nature Conservancy

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