The Conservation Trust for Florida is looking ahead, and there is a lot to look forward to. We know that there is still time to play a meaningful role in shaping Florida’s conservation future. The wild and rural Florida you love is still out there, and we are working to keep it that way. The key is to continue working at a landscape scale.
“The proposed purchase of the 4,900-acre tract known as the Silver Springs Forest is an environmental and economic coup that cannot be allowed to fail.”
The Conservation Trust for Florida, a nonprofit landtrust, has negotiated the acquisition of almost 4,900 acres directly north of Silver Springs State Park as part of its statewide strategy to protect land with high conservation value. The property, called Silver Springs Forest, is within the Silver Springs watershed and will help recharge the Floridan Aquifer and reduce nutrient pollution entering the Silver and Oklawaha rivers. It will also provide a vital link between other protected lands, creating more habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for visitors to Florida’s parks.
On September 3rd, the Florida Forest Service’s Rural and Family Lands Protection Program ranked 70 applications for funding next year. The Conservation Trust for Florida was affiliated with 11 of the 70 applications. Of these 11 projects, which total over 54,800 acres, seven properties were ranked in the top tier and will be eligible for funding next year.
In his fact-centered article, CTF Greenways Program Research Scientist Tom Hoctor addresses the contention that Florida has enough conservation land. Dr. Hoctor makes it clear that we in fact may need much more, perhaps as much as 50% of the state’s landmass.
For more than three decades, states Hoctor, Florida has led the nation in using science to identify the most important areas to protect. Many unprotected acres remain that are essential for conservation of biodiversity and to sustain human populations.
“As a starting point, we need to use Amendment 1 to revitalize the funding of our landmark Florida Forever program,” said Hoctor. “There is no legitimate, science-based or economic argument against returning Florida Forever to a minimum annual funding of $300 million a year.”
Read more about the extent and preservation of Floria’s “Green infrastructure” in the Tampa Bay times.
In this issue of the Conservation Trust for Florida’s newsletter, THE POST, read CTF President, Susan Carr’s vision for the future of conservation in Florida. Through Board Member Lisa Gearen’s article, you can travel with CTF on their recent visit to Adams ranch and its open spaces. You’ll also see how you can support landscape-size conservation efforts in Florida, whether through direct donations or participation in events such as “Dancing with the Bears.”
Conservation Trust for Florida President Susan Carr spent the day at the State Capitol along with hundreds of champions of conservation who gathered in Tallahassee on February 18 to tell legislators that Amendment 1 dollars must be spent on land and water conservation. You can help make sure they get the message.
In November, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1, the “Water and Land Conservation Amendment.” This was an incredible win for conservation in Florida, but the victory will not be complete until elected leaders implement legislation that will fund land conservation using this dedicated stream of funding.
As the Conservation Trust for Florida approaches its 15th Anniversary, there is a sense of urgency to act, and our new Case Statement describes how and why. Over the next 5 years the CTF will engage private landowners in some of the most critical conservation areas of the state, and work to…
Gainesville Ecotours led a Family Nature Club “Alphabet Hike” for children at the Barr Hammock Levy Prairie Preserve on Saturday, February 15, 2014. The event was sponsored by the Conservation Trust for Florida. Sixteen parents and 22 children set out to find, “A is for Ants, Alligators, and P is for Plants!” The preserve is owned by Alachua County, but the Conservation Trust for Florida and Alachua County partner to provide outreach activities…