This legislative session in Tallahassee, Audubon Florida advocated for at least $150 million for land conservation programs including Florida Forever and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. However, these programs that protect sensitive bird and wildlife habitat were gutted this week during budget negotiations. A disappointingly small $10 million was allocated to the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program and nothing for Florida Forever nor the Florida Communities Trust. Floridians should take a look at the list of priority projects, approved by the Governor and Cabinet, that legislators have put at risk of development. "This is sad news from the Florida Capitol as Florida Forever becomes Florida Yesterday," said Eric Draper, Audubon Florida Executive Director. "A once-robust land conservation program has been ignored in the proposed state budget." Budget negotiations have concluded and legislators are expected to vote on this budget on Monday, May 8, 2017.
Audubon will continue to stand up for the places that make Florida special. This year, Audubon:
- Activated our action network and Audubon advocates generated more than 100,000 messages to legislators;
- Partnered with allies like the Florida Forestry Association and coalitions of landowners and ranchers to lobby for conservation funding; and
- Secured several pro-land conservation resolutions from county commissions across the state.