Apr 17, 2017 - Gearing toward the May 5 deadline to pass a budget for the 2017'2018 fiscal year, the Florida House is earmarking no funds for Florida Forever, while the Senate is offering $10 million — a half of the dollars for all land protection programs.
May 17, 2016 - Jackson Blue Springs draws in visitors both near and far. It is the main source of water for Merritt's Mill Pond. State agencies want to keep those bodies of waters clean with a restoration plan.
May 15, 2016 - DEBARY - More than 200 people showed up on a hot Saturday morning to protest a city of DeBary proposal to add more than 100 acres of conservation land to its plans for a development around the SunRail station.
May 13, 2016 - The state on Tuesday barred future development on more than 3,200 acres of ranchlands in one of Florida's fastest growing counties. It marks the single largest purchase of agricultural land for preservation under a state program started 15 years ago.
May 12, 2016 - County commissioners asked the county attorney Tuesday to work on a resolution to ban bear hunts on Alachua County lands. Commissioner Ken Cornell suggested the resolution, citing public opinion polls mostly suggest the public is against hunting bears.
Apr 26, 2016 - Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday approved spending nearly $6 million toward the wooded land. State officials want to add the tract to the St. Johns River Blueway Florida Forever project. The move is supported by conservationists.
Nov 29, 2015 - Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jim Steverson has come up with some elaborate and controversial methods for making state parks financially self-sustaining. He and his predecessor have proposed cattle leases, hunting, commercial RV parks
Nov 24, 2015 - TALLAHASSEE (NSF) ' Gov. Rick Scott is proposing more money for land preservation next year, but environmentalists say the levels fall short of what voters wanted in passing a 2014 constitutional amendment.
Oct 29, 2015 - As the amendment to annex around 1,200 acres into the city of Hawthorne moves forward, Alachua County staff are raising concerns over the potential impact on the county's water resources.
Oct 27, 2015 - TALLAHASSEE - A new bill in Tallahassee would waive admission fees to all 174 state parks beginning July 1, 2016. The idea behind the bill is to encourage more people to enjoy the beauty of the Sunshine State's outdoors.
Oct 26, 2015 - Conservation groups have asked a judge to rule the state Legislature violated the constitution by spending a portion of the $740 million from Amendment 1 to pay for the salaries and other expenses of environmental agencies, which in the past were funded with money primarily from the state's general revenue.
Oct 22, 2015 - Lee County doesn't quite have Sweden's problems when it comes to recycling, but it's on its way. Sweden recycles so much material (more than 99 percent of household items are used again in some way) the country has to actually import trash to put in its incinerators, one method used to heat homes during extreme winters there.
Oct 15, 2015 - WEST VOLUSIA, FL - When people think of Daytona Beach, the roar of engines and thundering surf most easily come to mind, but there's another side to Daytona that one might never discover.
Oct 1, 2015 - The new conservation easements in Seminole and Collier counties increase the total land preserved by the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program to 12,808 acres and allow agricultural operations to continue while protecting sensitive natural resources from future development.
Sep 28, 2015 - A spring is a natural opening in the ground where water flows directly from the aquifer to the earth's surface. The source of this fresh water is from seasonal rainfall that soaks into the ground, which is referred to as groundwater.
Sep 28, 2015 - State parks were never envisioned as being managed for resource consumptive uses such as hunting, timbering and grazing. Yet that is exactly what Gov. Scott and DEP Secretary Jon Steverson are actively pursuing in an effort to "make state parks self supporting."
Sep 16, 2015 - From the very beginning of writing next year's state budget, it's clear one of the flashpoints of last year's process will be rearing its head: how the state should spend money set aside by voters on Amendment 1 last November to buy and conserve land.
Sep 15, 2015 - The Florida Legislature wants to stop a land and water lawsuit before it has the chance to make a splash. Five environmental groups sued the state in June after a battle over Amendment 1 funding. Seventy percent of voters approved Amendment 1 last fall.
Sep 10, 2015 - PALATKA, Fla - The St. Johns River Water Management District's Governing Board on Sept. 8 approved the acquisition of nearly 4,900 acres in Marion County that will protect Silver Springs and the Silver and Ocklawaha rivers. The property, called Silver Springs Forest, is located directly north of Silver Springs State Park.
Aug 31, 2015 - Environmental groups are asking a Leon County judge to intervene in how the state will spend a large chunk of the $700 million in funds set aside by voters for conservation. If granted, the injunction, filed Friday by environmental law group Earthjustice on behalf of four nonprofits.
Aug 20, 2015 - OCALA, Fla. - Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach has pulled his offer to build a $15 million football complex on the campus of North Marion High School. A representative of the Stronach group, along with a team of engineers and architects, presented the proposal to the Marion County School Board in May.
Aug 14, 2015 - Fearing the state has sanctioned further harm to one of Florida's first tourism treasures, Silver Springs, two environmental groups are seeking to overturn an aquifer-pumping permit issued to a ranch belonging to a Canadian billionaire.
Aug 13, 2015 - Florida's Water and Land Legacy, the group that sponsored Amendment 1 in the 2014 election, has shuttered its doors and relaunched as Florida Conservation Voters, which backers say will have a broader mission of political activism on environmental issues.
Jun 29, 2015 - Marion County's springs protection efforts took an important step forward this month. On Friday, June 19, Marion County Parks and Recreation's application to add the Silver Springs Sandhill site to the 2016 Florida Forever project list was unanimously approved by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Acquisition and Restoration Council.
Jun 26, 2015 - As The Sun reported last week, the state's Acquisition and Restoration Council unanimously voted to add the popular swimming hole in Gilchrist County to the list of springs slated to be bought with Florida Forever funds.
Jun 20, 2015 - Friday morning in Tallahassee, the state's Acquisition and Restoration Council unanimously voted to add the swimming hole and 405-acre property on the Santa Fe River near High Springs to the list of first-magnitude springs the state is seeking to buy with Florida Forever funds.
Jun 15, 2015 - Jon Steverson, who heads the state Department of Environmental Protection, thinks state parks should operate like a corner 7-Eleven and make enough money to pay for themselves. Cattle grazing, logging, farming. Whatever it takes to make money.
Jun 3, 2015 - Saturday's citizen rally in downtown Bradenton by supporters of Amendment 1 illustrates voter frustration with lawmakers. We share that dissatisfaction. There are certainly indications that legislators will fail to live up to the spirit of the land and water conservation measure.
May 20, 2015 - Florida would be forced to close state parks without approval of a new state budget that provides for at least 'critical' spending, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
May 14, 2015 - The South Florida Water Management District board this morning will revisit the option to buy U.S. Sugar Corp. land south of Lake Okeechobee, but members are expected to reject it again. (subscription required)
May 14, 2015 - Sleepy Creek Lands - a 29,000 acre ranch in Northeast Marion County - wants to pump 1.46 million gallons of water a day from the Floridan Aquifer to grow the sustenance for the 9,500 head of grass-fed beef. The cattle will graze on a ranch east of Ocala and near Silver Springs and the Ocklawaha River.
May 13, 2015 - MANATEE -- A plan to sell part of Pine Island Preserve as surplus land is still under consideration by the Southwest Florida Water Management District as its governing board prepares to meet next week. A county official termed negotiations are going well about selling the 66-acre portion of the island preserve.
May 13, 2015 - The toxic green slime that killed pelicans, dolphins, fish and manatees in South Florida two summers ago is back, lurking in Lake Okeechobee, where, as we all know, it will likely spread to the coasts once the government starts releasing water to lower the lake's level.
Apr 30, 2015 - Administrative Law Judge Gary Early ruled on Wednesday that petitioners failed to prove Sleepy Creek's withdrawal of water at its northern cattle tract would be harmful to the environment, or that Sleepy Creek's precautions to protect the environment were inadequate.
Apr 29, 2015 - As outlined recently by the Tampa Bay Times, the Legislature is considering opening up public lands set aside for conservation to "low-impact" agriculture. The plan affects at least 1.2 million acres, or about 3 percent of Florida's total acreage.
Apr 27, 2015 - Facing a thicket of candidates and ballot measures in the November election, Florida voters sent one resounding message to elected officials: More must be done to protect the state's natural habitats - including the long-suffering Everglades.
Apr 27, 2015 - If the people of Florida value their state parks as highly as they say they do, they had better cast a wary eye in the direction of Tallahassee. Proposals are being advanced both in the Legislature and in the Department of Environmental Protection that may not bode well for the future of Florida's nationally recognized state park system.
Apr 23, 2015 - This year we celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, however, there are many events and activities happening over the weekends before and after Earth Day itself. Gather the family for a day of fun-in-the-sun and an opportunity to learn the importance of protecting Mother Nature.
Apr 22, 2015 - The grassroots protest that saw tens of millions turn out on the Mall in Washington DC made leaders sit up and take notice. They were calling for better protection of the natural world, from curbs on water and air pollution to safer waste disposal.
Apr 22, 2015 - Central Florida Earth Day is an exciting day of colorful and educational exhibits and activities! It will take place at beautiful Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando on April 25, 2015 from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Apr 22, 2015 - This is the year, we were told, that water would finally get its due in Tallahassee. After considerable arm-twisting in the court of public opinion, the Legislature appears poised to drop $50 million on springs protection. Doing the math, that amounts to a miserly $2-and-change per Floridian.
Apr 21, 2015 - The intent of the 75% of Florida voters who voted Yes for Amendment 1 was clear: fund the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for the acquisition of parks and natural areas. Follow the link for videos and contact information
Apr 21, 2015 - Five years ago, the worst oil spill in history began to unfold in the Gulf of Mexico. A well exploded, killing 11 workers and setting off 87 days of uncontrolled leaking. NBC's Kerry Sanders looks at the Gulf five years later.
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