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Environment

Land purchaser dreams big despite having no money

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By James Call

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-990077.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – The state Acquisition and Restoration Council is holding two days of meetings in Tallahassee. James Call reports, though they have no money, council members are still building a priority list for future land purchases.

The Council is taking public testimony on conservation projects to include in the Florida Forever program. Florida Forever is a two decade old initiative that has purchased 2.5 million acres across the state for conservation and recreation. The Governor vetoed its allocation in the state budget last spring. However, Council member Lane Green says the work of preserving natural Florida continues even if there is no money to buy land.

"The Acquisition Restoration Council is not defunct. It's job is to make recommendations to the Governor and Cabinet on which projects are most worthy of purchase. So, we're ready, we just need some money."

The Council will continue to take public testimony on projects Friday. At a December it will rank the projects with the hope that Florida Forever will be included in next year's state budget.