Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosystem Partnership - Largest State-Based Conservation Measure in U.S. History Passes in Florida

February 12, 2015 Image 1 Egilinafblongleaf3 Thumb

By Vernon Compton, The Longleaf Alliance

On November 4, 2014, Florida voters passed Amendment 1, the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment.  For an amendment to pass in Florida, it must have a supermajority of 60% of the voters to approve it.  Florida voters strongly supported the measure with 75% voting in favor.  Funds for the measure will come from fees on real estate transactions and will be dedicated to acquisition and restoration of lands in Florida for conservation and recreation.  Current projections estimate over 10 billion dollars will be dedicated to this effort over the next 20 years.  In the GCPEP landscape, several priority land protection projects may benefit from these funds, including Wolfe Creek Forest, Coastal Headwaters Forest, Clear Creek/Whiting Field, Perdido Pitcher Plant Prairie, and Garcon Point.  Protection could be in the form of acquisition and/or conservation easements and would lead to additional opportunities for the restoration and management of longleaf pine.  Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on the passage of this very important conservation measure.

Image 1:  Old growth longleaf forest on Eglin Air Force Base.  Photo by Vernon Compton.

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