For Immediate Release
David Guest, Esq., (850) 228-3337
Alicia Coe, Esq., (850) 681-0031
Preston Robertson, Esq., (850) 656-7113
Manley Fuller, President, FWF, (850) 567-7129
FWF Continues to Push Legislature To Do the Will of the People
The Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) and its allies continue the legal battle to ensure that our state government uses the funding from the Water and Land Legacy Amendment, approved by 75% of voters in 2014 (Amendment 1), as the voters directed: to acquire and restore our remaining natural areas. On January 10, 2017, the Federation filed its Amended Complaint against the Florida Legislature, Florida Senate and House leaders and state agencies, specifically, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Department of State. We assert that the Legislature misappropriated Water and Land Legacy funding and that the state agencies unconstitutionally expended these funds. From a thorough review of the state budget, our Complaint cites over $300 million that we believe has been illegally spent from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. This money was used for activities not allowed for within the confines of the language of the Constitutional provision voters approved.
While all legal actions take time and resources, this effort is well worth it. When three out of four Floridians voted to dedicate funds to sustain our state in the face the loss of conservation lands, and our elected representatives do not act accordingly, the people must take action. As Florida continues to be paved over and as our aquifer recharge areas and wetlands are lost, what will we leave our children and grandchildren - a hot New Jersey?
The 2017 Legislative Session officially begins on March 7, 2017, but committee meetings are already being held. Please let the Governor, your state Representative and your State Senator know that the money generated from 2014’s Amendment 1 vote should be used to fully fund the Florida Forever program and aid efforts to clean our waters. That is the will of the people.
The Florida Wildlife Federation is a statewide citizens' conservation and education organization working for the protection, enjoyment and wise use of Florida's fish, wildlife and other natural resources. The Florida Wildlife Federation encourages the public's appreciation of Florida's environment through sustainable, resource-based outdoor recreation.