Florida’s Conservation Lands

As of 2013 Florida maintained 4.861 million acres, or 14% of the land mass in state owned conservation lands.

History

  • 1964: Land Acquistion and Trust Fund (LATF), legislators recognizing the pace of development in Florida began to issue bonds and levying sales taxes to fund conservation purchases
  • 1972: Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (EEL), issued $200 million in bonds to purchase unique and irreplaceable lands.
  • 1979: Conservation and Recreation Lands Program (CARL), legislators extended EEL and by 1990 purchased 181,000 acres of protected land.
  • 1989: Preservation 2000 (P2000), recognizing a need to protect 5 billion dollars worth of threatened land and that the speed of development was not slowing legislators passed an expansion of CARL. P2000 authorized the issuance of $3 billion dollars of bonds for conservation purchases over 10 years. P2000 was very successful, able to preserve almost 2 million acres.
  • 1999: Florida Forever, coming off the success of P2000 legislators extended the program another 10 years, again, authorizing $3 billion dollars in bonds over the next 10 years.  Florida Forever differed from P2000 slightly in fund distribution between conservation programs.  Florida Forever was renewed in 2008.  To date Florida Forever has purchased slightly under 800,000 acres.  It should be noted that most of these purchase were made prior to 2008 as Florida Forever’s budget has decreased significantly following the economic crisis of 2008.