[ACTION ALERT] Stop Governor DeSantis from Signing SB 2508

We need your help NOW to convince Governor DeSantis that he should veto Senate Bill 2508 because FLORIDA DOES NOT NEED A COMPLETE MAKE-OVER OF OUR IMMENSELY SUCCESSFUL LAND CONSERVATION PROGRAMS! The Florida Legislature passed this terrible bill and it is now awaiting the Governor’s signature. It threatens to upend our successful approach to land conservation by essentially replacing the science-based, transparent, and accountable Florida Forever program with one designed to keep agricultural lands in production. The Rural and Family Lands Program (RFL) was created to purchase conservation easements over privately owned forests and ranches, and is a valuable complement to Florida Forever because the working lands it keeps in production sometimes have supplemental habitat value for native plants and wildlife, and can maintain connectivity within wildlife corridors. But Florida Forever has been, and should remain, our principal land conservation program.

Call Governor DeSantis at (850) 488-7146 and tell him to veto SB 2508 because it will
:

  • Reduce the levels of transparency and accountability that have made Florida’s land conservation efforts so successful! Proposed Florida Forever land purchases are vetted by the Acquisition and Restoration Council - a panel of experienced environmental professionals – before being considered for approval by the Governor and Cabinet. Proposed RFL purchases do not undergo such review and vetting. Why should we allow less oversight of such important decisions?
  • Allow landowners to “double-dip” by essentially being paid twice to protect the same piece of land! SB 2508 would allow a landowner to be paid for an RFL conservation easement that protects their land from development, and then establish a for-profit mitigation bank that would pay them for protecting their land from development – AGAIN! That is no way to run a land conservation program!
  • Give utilities expedited review of wetland permits if their project serves a “public purpose” without defining what qualifies as a public purpose. This creates a “fox guarding the henhouse” protection standard for wetland destruction.
SB 2508 is an assault on the principles that have made land conservation in Florida such a success. Let Governor DeSantis know you want him to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of our land conservation programs by vetoing SB 2508. Please do not delay in taking this action. The Governor could sign this bill into law at any time.

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