Environmentalists plead for Florida Forever money

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A coalition of environmental groups on Tuesday pleaded with legislators to go along with a recommendation by Gov. Rick Scott to spend $15 million to buy environmentally sensitive lands, reports the News Service of Florida. Budgets offered by the Senate and House both propose no money for the Florida Forever land buying program so far this year. “We agree with Gov. Scott that a healthy economy is dependent upon a healthy environment,” said Janet Bowman of the Nature Conservancy. “Acquiring lands that are critical to protecting land and water resources directly protects Florida’s environment.” Florida Audubon’s Eric Draper said that as the economy starts to come back, sensitive land will be targeted by developers.”Every year that Florida Forever is not funded, there is a greater risk that really important environmental land is lost — lost to development or converted to other uses,” Draper said. The House has passed its budget, the Senate spending plan is in the final committee this week.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.