Good news! Seminole County passed an ordinance to purchase land for conservation. The Seminole Forever program mirrors the successful, state-level Florida Forever program, using $5 million from the county budget to fund land acquisition and improvement each year (the money would originate from a combination of the general fund, tourism fund, and bonds). Congratulations to the chapters—Seminole Audubon, Lake Region Audubon, and West Pasco Audubon—for their efforts on these issues!
“The most significant aspect of the ordinance Seminole County adopted is the county’s decision to include conservation land acquisition on the list of basic government purposes for ongoing funding,” Charles Lee, Audubon’s director of advocacy, explains. “This is not a one-off appropriation or a time-limited program, but rather a decision that dedicates a permanent revenue stream to environmental land purchases until a super-majority of county commissioners votes to change it.”
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of The Naturalist magazine.