The Florida Forest Service Invites Citizens to Provide Input on Important Forestland Protection Program

The Florida Forest Service will hold three Forest Legacy Program Workshops for citizens and stakeholders in August.

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Florida Forest Service is updating portions of the state’s Forest Action Plan related to the USDA Forest Legacy Program and is inviting citizens and stakeholders to get involved. The Florida Forest Service’s participation in the Forest Legacy Program compliments its Rural and Family Lands Protection Program by helping to protect and conserve important forest areas through voluntary conservation easements and fee simple purchases.

“The protection and conservation of forests in Florida is vital,” said Jim Karels, State Forester. “Florida’s forests provide countless benefits including forest products, job opportunities, recreational opportunities, and the protection of water quality and wildlife habitat.”

Currently, the Florida Forest Service is partnering with Florida State University’s Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) to update and identify priority forestlands that qualify as Forest Legacy areas eligible for federal funding from the Forest Legacy Program.

In an effort to secure broad support for the Forest Legacy Program in Florida and to seek further input from citizens and stakeholders on potential criteria and focus areas, the Florida Forest Service and FNAI will hold three Public Participation Workshops around the state. Below are the Forest Legacy workshop details:

Kissimmee, FL

  • Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (EST)
  • Osceola County Extension Office, Osceola Heritage Park, 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744

Tallahassee, FL

  • Thursday, August 7, 2014, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (EST)
  • Eyster Auditorium, 3125 Conner Blvd, Tallahassee, FL 32311

Gainesville, FL

  • Thursday, August 12, 2014, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (EST)
  • 1911 Southwest 34th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608

Landowner participation in the program, including the sale of lands and interests in lands, is entirely voluntary. For more information about the Forest Legacy Program, visit http://bit.ly./1pjuaca or call the Forest Legacy Program Coordinator at (850) 681-5816.

The Florida Forest Service manages more than one million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. For more information about sustainable forestry practices and forest conservation efforts in Florida, visit www.FloridaForestService.com.

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