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conservation

Environmental lawsuit over ‘Amendment 1’ funding set for trial

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A Tallahassee judge has set a trial week in a lawsuit over the state’s environmental funding under a constitutional amendment passed almost three years ago. Circuit Judge Charles Dodson scheduled a weeklong bench trial for next July 23-27, with a pretrial conference set for June 15, court records show. Discovery in the case was ordered finished by May 25.

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Report: Rob Bradley says 2017-18 budget will include money for land conservation

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Sen. Rob Bradley isn’t giving up hope the 2017-18 state budget will include money for the Florida Forever conservation lands program. POLITICO Florida reported Tuesday that Bradley said the budget would include spending for Florida Forever, for Florida Keys wastewater projects, his proposed projects along the St. Johns River, and Senate President Joe Negron’s proposed water storage reservoir. “This is going to be a budget that those who care about the environment are going to be very proud of,” the…

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Duke Energy Florida modifying power transmission lines to protect birds

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Duke Energy Florida Inc. hopes to make its power lines friendlier to birds. The company is undertaking a pilot program featuring redesigned electric transmission lines deemed less likely to zap our fine feathered friends into oblivion. That will entail replacing horizontal lines with vertical or stacked models, and replacing some poles to achieve better spacing. “The redesigned elements will help prevent birds from getting in between lines and from perching and building nests on electrical lines and poles,” Duke said in…

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Groups upset with legislators over land conservation

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Environmental groups contend that the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature is again snubbing voters who want the state to purchase conservation land. They contend the budget proposals the Legislature is now developing violate Amendment 1, passed overwhelmingly in 2014, directing that a third of the revenue from documentary stamp taxes on real estate transactions go to buy land. “They’re basically ignoring what the public has clearly indicated it wants, not just the spirit but the clear words,” said former Gov. Bob Graham,…

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New TV ads call on John Mica, Carlos Curbelo to help restore federal conservation program

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An environmental group announced it will air a pair of TV commercials calling on Florida Republican congressmen John Mica and Carlos Curbelo to help restore the federal Land and Water Conservation Program. The Western Value Project said the ads are part of a six-figure ad buy and will air in Curbelo’s and Mica’s districts – South Florida’s CD26 and Central Florida’s CD7, respectively – for one week. The group said it will also air commercials in the districts of Pennsylvania…

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Bruce Ritchie: Is House giving Florida Forever $205 million? Nope

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Words matter, or they should – at least for journalists. Not necessarily for politicians. Case in point: the Florida House leadership saying that it has $205 million in the proposed 2015-16 state budget for Florida Forever, the state’s land-buying program. Nope, not true. In fact, the House budget proposal doesn’t include a single dollar for Florida Forever, in my opinion, although it seems to have some for land acquisition. How much? We can’t be sure. Florida Forever actually is a…

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