Public Workshop On Conservation Land Sales Set For Tonight

Aug 21, 2013

Wednesday evening in Tallahassee, the state of Florida will ask for public input at a meeting  about a list of conservation lands it’s proposing to sell. Environmentalists are watching the so-called land “surplussing” process closely.

This year’s state budget for conservation land requires some public lands to be sold before others are purchased. Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Pat Gillespie says a group of state officials and environmentalists have been evaluating all state land with a model developed by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land.

“And what we’re going to do is kind of score all the land and see what land do we believe the state of Florida can sell in order to buy better conservation land.”

He says the state’s highest priority will be on protecting water quality. But several environmental groups remain alarmed at deep cuts to the conservation budget in recent years. They’re campaigning for a state constitutional amendment earmarking some tax revenue for land purchasing.

Tonight’s meeting is at 5 p.m at the Douglas Building, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., in Tallahassee. The meeting is scheduled to last until 8 p.m.