WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Environmental Leaders Applaud Governor DeSantis and Florida Cabinet Investing Over $46.6 Million to Conserve 21,000 Acres in Florida 

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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Environmental Leaders Applaud Governor DeSantis and Florida Cabinet Investing Over $46.6 Million to Conserve
21,000 Acres in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet invested more than $46.6 million to acquire five properties totaling 21,000 acres across the state that will be designated for conservation.  

Read what environmental leaders and stakeholders are saying about these acquisitions:

"The Nature Conservancy celebrates the significant land acquisition projects approved yesterday by the Florida Cabinet to help preserve the beautiful Sunshine State. Thanks to the Cabinet’s support of Florida Forever, the protection of critical lands including the 12,428-acre Telogia Creek project will move forward for acquisition. These projects conserve and protect essential landscape-scale habitat, provide wildlife corridors for rare and imperiled species, and increase linkages and corridors between public land and private conservation easements in the region. We thank Governor DeSantis, Commissioner Simpson, Attorney General Moody, Chief Financial Officer Patronis and Secretary Hamilton for yesterday’s critical Florida Forever acquisitions."  Greg Knecht, Interim Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy in Florida.

"Audubon celebrates yesterday's additions to state-protected conservation lands, spanning the state from the western Panhandle to the Upper St. Johns, the Lake Wales Ridge to the Apalachicola River. These are investments in our water quality and quantity, wildlife and resilience. Informed by strong science and a transparent and accountable process, Florida Forever is making sure we protect the most important places for future generations." – Julie Wraithmell, Executive Director, Audubon Florida.

"Conservation Florida is grateful to the Governor, Cabinet and the Department of Environmental Protection for their devotion to protecting our wild and agricultural lands and for continuing to support critical land acquisitions such as this. The conservation of the Lightsey Family Ranch/LTL Holdings is a great example of an easement acquisition with multiple benefits as it adds to the protection of endangered wildlife, native plants, water and green space while also contributing to the local rural economy. It’s another win as we work together to conserve a functional Florida Wildlife Corridor." – Traci Deen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Conservation Florida

"Longleaf pine forests are some of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world, and continuing to protect new acreage of the Blackwater River State Forest not only benefits rare native plants and wildlife, it also provides exciting new recreational opportunities and supports our national defense operations at NAS Whiting Field. Together with our public agency partners, and funders Knobloch Family Foundation and EJK Foundation, Trust for Public Land has helped leverage federal, state and local conservation and military base buffering funds to protect over 10,000 acres of contiguous lands critical for longleaf pine restoration. We are excited to continue our collaborative efforts to further advance conservation and community resiliency while connecting more people to the outdoors." – Doug Hattaway, Senior Project Manager, Trust for Public Land.

"The work to create and preserve the Florida Wildlife Corridor precedes us and will outlast us — it’s ambitious, it’s difficult, it’s visionary, it’s essential. This legacy can only be secured through collaborative efforts from partners across the state. This includes our state agencies, landowners, business owners, and non-governmental organizations like Florida Conservation Group, Conservation Fund and Trust for Public Land to name a few. With "a big tent" mindset, we can leverage our best creative thinking, relationship building and collaborative problem-solving to continue to conserve and connect Florida’s wild spaces. Florida deserves nothing less." – Mallory Dimmitt, Chief Executive Officer, Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation.

"Our team at Wildpath had the privilege of photographing these phenomenal properties, from the pine forests of the Florida Panhandle to the prairies and woodlands of the Everglades headwaters, to vital rangelands of the Myakka River watershed. Today is a moment for great gratitude to the landowners, their conservation partners, the state of Florida, and Governor DeSantis and the Cabinet for approving the permanent protection of these landscapes, all of which will connect missing links and strengthen the Florida Wildlife Corridor." – Carlton Ward Jr., Founder, Wildpath and the Path of the Panther project.

"The Myakka Ranchlands Florida Forever project is critical for protecting the wildlife habitat, wildlife corridors and watersheds of Southwest Florida. This historically rural region is located in one of the fastest growing regions in the state. Conserving these ranches is desperately needed and will help ensure the biodiversity of this unique region that is undergoing rapid changes."  Julie Morris, Florida and Gulf Coast Programs Manager, National Wildlife Refuge Association.