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Archive | Land Acquisition

Northwest Florida could get $21 million for springs protection

Thursday, July 9, 2015

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By BRUCE RITCHIE FLORIDAENVIRONMENTS.COM MIDWAY — The Northwest Florida Water Management District is in line to receive more than $10 million in springs protection funding from the state budget and could get as much as $21.5 million, the district’s governing board was told Thursday. The eight possible springs projects include $6.4 million for 1,077 acres […]

With Steverson reappointed to DEP, Senate prez says confirmation not “a simple rubber stamp”

Monday, May 4, 2015

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By BRUCE RITCHIE FLORIDAENVIRONMENTS.COM Gov. Rick Scott on Monday reappointed Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jon Steverson along with 15 other agency heads following the Senate’s failure to confirm. The Senate failed to vote on many of Scott’s appointments last week as the 2015 legislative session broke down amid an impasse between the House and […]

Governor provides Amendment 1 spending breakdown

Thursday, January 29, 2015

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By BRUCE RITCHIE FLORIDA ENVIRONMENTS Gov. Rick Scott’s office on Thursday provided a breakdown of how the governor requests $757 million provided by Amendment 1 be spent in the 2015-16 state budget. Amendment 1, approved by voters in November, provides one third of the revenue from an excise tax on real estate transactions to the […]

Senate president says five-year land-buying work plan needed

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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By BRUCE RITCHIE FLORIDAENVIRONMENTS.COM Sen. President Andy Gardiner said Thursday that a five-year planning process for land purchases and water projects may be a good idea following voter approval last month of Amendment 1. The amendment provides one-third of revenue from an excise tax on real estate to water and land conservation. Amendment 1 was […]

Just how permanent are those conservation easements?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

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By BRUCE RITCHIE Just how permanent is “perpetual” — when it comes to conservation easements? Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in November touted the benefits of those landowner agreements not to develop as the Cabinet approved a deal to preserve 1,364 acres of a sod farm and cattle ranch in Polk County. The benefits, Putnam said, […]

Wildlife expedition holds scientific value even if biologist has regrets

Sunday, May 6, 2012

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By BRUCE RITCHIE Floridaenvironments.com Biologist Joe Guthrie sounds like he’s being too hard on himself for not taking more notes or recording data on his recent 1,000-mile trek with the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition. Guthrie and photographer Carlton Ward Jr., conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmett and documentary filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus finished their journey April 22 in […]

Cabinet members join group on expedition across Florida

Sunday, March 25, 2012

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By BRUCE RITCHIE A team of conservationists on a 1,000-mile expedition across Florida was joined by two Cabinet officials last week just past midway on their trek. Photographer Carlton Ward Jr., biologist Joe Guthrie and filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus began their journey on Jan. 9 from Florida Bay at the tip of Everglades National Park. They […]

Team launches trek to promote Florida Wildlife Corridor

Monday, January 9, 2012

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By BRUCE RITCHIE A conservation photographer, biologist and filmmaker on Tuesday will begin a nearly 1,000-mile trek up the Florida peninsula to highlight the need for maintaining a habitat corridor through the area. Along the way, they expect to stay with ranch landowners and be joined by some conservation leaders and elected officials including possibly […]

State environmental chief questions land-buying program

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

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Some environmental groups may be in agreement with Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard that the state’s land-buying list needs closer scrutiny. Vinyard last week announced that $700 million was being cut from budgets of the state’s five water management districts. More than $200 million of the cuts were from the districts’ land […]

Nation’s largest land-buying program appears doomed by veto

Monday, June 20, 2011

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With the stroke of a pen last month, Gov. Rick Scott turned Florida from a conservation land-buyer to a land seller. Florida had the largest land-buying program in the nation with more than 2 million acres purchased since 1990. The Florida Forever program received $300 million a year until state revenues started slipping in 2009, […]