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FWF policy positions about important issues around the state.

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CONSERVATIONISTS MOVE TO BLOCK LAST MINUTE DEAL BETWEEN SUGAR COMPANIES AND WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
CONSERVATIONISTS MOVE TO BLOCK LAST MINUTE DEAL BETWEEN SUGAR COMPANIES AND WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
For Immediate Release November 29, 2018 Contact: Preston Robertson, 850-656-7113 Terrell Arline, Esq., 850-321-8726                        Sweetheart deal between Big Sugar and Water Management District could thwart reservoir designed to clean South Florida water TALLAHASSEE (11/29/18) – On Wednesday, Florida conservationists filed a legal challenge to a last-minute deal between major sugar companies and the South Florida Water Management District that could thwart emergency efforts to reduce toxic algae outbreaks in rivers and coastal areas. The deal was reached the day after the election of Ron DeSantis as Florida’s governor. DeSantis has previously opposed sweetheart deals with the powerful sugar industry. Under the agreement, the outgoing District board renewed leases to major sugar companies on land that is slated for a reservoir to take contaminated water out of Lake Okeechobee. Leases for growing sugar cane set to expire this coming March were re-leased for up to 8 years, endangering plans to fast-track construction of the new 17,000 acre reservoir.  Lake water contaminated with toxic algae fueled by fertilizer and manure from industrial farming operations has been repeatedly dumped into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, where it triggered massive fish kills ...
ACT NOW TO HELP SAVE THE FLORIDA PANTHER!
ACT NOW TO HELP SAVE THE FLORIDA PANTHER!
ACT NOW TO HELP SAVE THE FLORIDA PANTHER! The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is now accepting public comments on a proposal to ensure preservation of 107,000 acres of private land that may otherwise be developed. This land will provide valuable habitat for the Florida panther and 18 other imperiled species. With increasing human growth and development in Southwest Florida, habitat suitable for the panther and other wildlife is quickly diminishing. Indeed, there may be as few as 120 adult panthers remaining in the wild. This beautiful symbol of Florida wilderness needs your voice! Please click HERE and tell FWS "I strongly support landscape scale habitat conservation planning efforts to provide vital linkages through private lands to public conservation lands in the region." This will help save our panther for future generations. The deadline to comment is December 3, 2018, so please act now! For more information and additional talking points for your comments, click HERE to read an in-depth blog post on this issue. You may also contact Meredith Budd, FWF Southwest Florida Field Representative, (239) 643-4111 or meredithb@fwfonline.org. Thank you for helping to protect our Florida panther! Florida Wildlife Federation 
Protecting the Florida Panther through Habitat Conservation Planning
Protecting the Florida Panther through Habitat Conservation Planning
Protecting the Florida Panther through Habitat Conservation Planning: The Eastern Collier Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan   The Florida panther, with its long-tailed and pale brown fur, is a symbol of wild Florida. This cat once roamed across the entire southeastern United States, but human population growth has, and continues to, destroy, degrade, and fragment their habitat. Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) estimates there may be as few as 120-230 adult panthers left in South Florida.   Why is land conservation so important for the Florida panther? The Florida panther is a wide-ranging species across Southwest Florida. Public lands (i.e., state and/or federally owned) are insufficient to support a growing panther population. As panther habitat shrinks due to increasing development, the panther's ability to find prey, mates and suitable denning sites has declined. Loss of habitat contributes to the two greatest causes of panther death: aggression between panthers and collisions with motor vehicles. Collier County is not immune to the population growth. Since growth and development will continue to encroach on panther habitat, the future of this charismatic cat is dependent ...
Florida Votes to Ban Off-Shore Oil Drilling
Florida Votes to Ban Off-Shore Oil Drilling
For Immediate Release November 7, 2018 Contact Manley Fuller, (850) 567-7129 David Guest, (850) 228-3337 Florida Votes to Ban Off-Shore Oil Drilling TALLAHASSEE (11/7/18) – Florida voters today adopted an amendment to the state constitution that prohibits oil drilling in the state's territorial sea. As a result, drilling for oil or gas is now permanently prohibited within 10.5 miles of the Gulf Coast and 3.5 miles of the Atlantic Coast. The amendment was initially proposed by Florida Wildlife Federation as a voter initiative and then revised and presented to the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission. This amendment was proposed by Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) and presented to the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission under the leadership of Commissioner Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, who now serves on the FWF board. Our congratulations go to Ms. Thurlow-Lippisch and all who worked so diligently for passage!   Because of its experience with attempts by Florida government to evade other constitutional amendments, the Federation took steps to anticipate possible litigation. The amendment was reviewed by legal experts and was written so it could be fully enforced without any legislation or implementing rules. Each term of the amendment ...
Ichetucknee - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow [Video]
Ichetucknee - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow [Video]
A look at what the Ichetucknee River and springs have meant to the life of the surrounding communities, and what conditions were like in the past. Produced by the Ichetucknee Alliance with funding support from Three Rivers Trust.    
VOTE YES ON AMENDMENT 9!
VOTE YES ON AMENDMENT 9!
Amendment 9 will help protect Florida’s beaches, our economy and our wildlife from oil spills by banning nearshore drilling. This election season, please vote YES on Amendment 9!    (Photo by Martina Henderson)  
Hunters and Anglers Keep Their Eyes on the Senate as Land and Water Conservation Fund Expire
Hunters and Anglers Keep Their Eyes on the Senate as Land and Water Conservation Fund Expire
  Hunters and Anglers Keep Their Eyes on the Senate as Land and Water Conservation Fund Expire Sportsmen and women delivered a letter urging reauthorization of successful program   TALLAHASSEE (10/1/18) – 371 Florida sportsmen and women delivered a letter to members of Florida’s congressional delegation today calling on them to support full-funding and reauthorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The letter highlighted LWCF’s support for projects like land acquisition providing public access for hunting and fishing, and preserving essential wildlife habitat and migration corridors in Florida. The 54-year-old conservation program expired yesterday. “Congress has made a huge mistake by allowing this successful conservation program to expire,” said Manley Fuller, President of the Florida Wildlife Federation. “Hunters and anglers throughout Florida have benefitted from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Our state has received over $1 billion in support from this and Congress needs to fix this blunder.” Legislation is moving through the Senate that Senator Rubio and Senator Nelson may have a chance to vote on. “Sportsmen and women in Florida will be watching closely to see which way our Senators vote ...
Support the Land and Water Conservation Fund which will expire on September 30, 2018
Support the Land and Water Conservation Fund which will expire on September 30, 2018
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has helped support and secure the United States’ wildlife heritage since 1964 by supporting anglers, hunters, and outdoor recreation. However, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is at risk of expiring unless Congress acts by the end of September to reauthorize and fully fund this critical conservation program.   Sign-on to support full funding and permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund: http://bit.ly/2NfyfkF
Trouble in Paradise - Six Key Issues to Tackle Florida's Environmental Challenges
Trouble in Paradise - Six Key Issues to Tackle Florida's Environmental Challenges
With leadership from the late Nathaniel Pryor Reed, Trouble in Paradise is the work product of deeply concerned members of the Florida environmental community who wish to help elected officials and candidates for office better understand six major statewide environmental issues impacting Florida’s natural resources and our residents’ quality of life. Reflecting that ‘one size does not fit all’ this report also identifies four of Florida’s many resource areas meriting specialized treatment. Every candidate for statewide office, the Legislature, and Congress should be aware of these major environmental issues and be willing to respond with decisive action. It is the collective hope of 1000 Friends of Florida, Apalachicola Riverkeeper, Defenders of Wildlife, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Florida Springs Council, Florida Springs Institute, Florida Wildlife Corridor, Florida Wildlife Federation and League of Women Voters of Florida that Trouble in Paradise inspires and educates current and incoming leaders, providing valuable guidance on how to address Florida’s very serious and growing environmental crises. Now more than ever, Florida needs strong, bold, and decisive leaders. Leaders with vision and dedication.  Leaders with the best interests of Florida at ...
Conservation 20/20: Lee County’s Legacy
Conservation 20/20: Lee County’s Legacy
Conservation 20/20: Lee County’s Legacy By Meredith Barnard, Marisa Carrozzo, and Brad Cornell Lee County residents understand the value of Conservation 20/20, the county’s conservation land program.  This was evident in the 2016 election when nearly 84% of residents voted in support of continuing the program. By preserving environmentally sensitive lands, this program works to protect our drinking water supplies and water quality, reduce flood risk, protect native wildlife and their habitat, and provide access for people to enjoy nature-based recreation.  Since the program’s inception in 1996, Lee County has protected nearly 30,000 acres of land, including the most recent purchase of Edison Farms in December 2017. Clearly, this program has been wildly successful and is meeting habitat conservation and water resource goals for Lee County. This begs the question, why is Lee County proposing changes to this program? The proposed changes seek to alter the property ranking criteria, create a new nomination and application process, and also propose a mechanism to replenish the acquisition fund- all of which will be voted on by the Board of County Commissioners at the upcoming ...
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