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NFC: Fw: Protect Florida's Preservation 2000



Funds for Florida's Wildlife Habitats have been Stolen!!

Florida's state senators have voted to stage an unprecedented, 
$100-million raid on state conservation funds. The senators want to 
rob $100 million from the state's Preservation 2000 fund  money the
legislature had previously dedicated to a long term commitment to 
save thousands of acres of Florida's vanishing wild lands from 
development, roads and sprawl. The conservation funds, set aside for 
additional land acquisition projects, are urgently needed to protect 
habitat critical to the survival of threatened and endangered 
species -- including the Florida scrub jay, the red-cockaded 
woodpecker, the Florida panther and the Florida black bear. 

So far, the Florida House has held to maintain the state's 
commitment to preservation and land acquisition, but these lawmakers 
need your help. Several legislators have publicly stated that they 
haven't heard much opposition from the environmental community on 
this issue.  Let them know the public is overwhelmingly against this 
raid on Florida's conservation funds. House and Senate will meet 
this week to decide whether or not to allow these funds to be 
transferred.

The best way to show support for Preservation 2000 funding is to 
urge your legislator today to stand up for Preservation 2000 funds 
to protect important wildlife habitat!

What You Can Do

1. Log on to our website at http://www.Denaction.org and send your 
emails and faxes to your state legislators through the DENAction site.

2. Write, call, fax and e-mail House Speaker Tom Feeney and Senate 
President John McKay to object to the raid on Preservation 2000 
funds and ask them to support the governor's promise to spend the 
money to preserve wildlife habitat.
   The Honorable Rep. Tom Feeney
   Room 420, The Capitol
   402 S. Monroe St.
   Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
   Phone (850) 488-1450
   Fax (850) 488-1456 
   e-mail: feeney.tom at leg_state.fl.us.

3. Senate President John McKay
   Office of the Senate President
   Suite 409, The Capitol
   404 South Monroe Street 
   Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
   Phone (850) 487-5229
   Fax (850) 487-5486
   e-mail: mckay.john.web at leg_state.fl.us.

4. Write, call, fax and e-mail your state representative and senator.
For information about how to contact your representative or senator,
go to http://www.leg.state.fl.us or phone the state of Florida at 
1-800-342-1827.  Often, their local numbers are listed in the "blue" 
pages of the phone book too. Or you can log on to: 
http://www.defenders.org/habitat/savewildflorida/ to find your 
senators and representatives.

5. Write letters to editors of Florida's newspapers expressing your 
views and urging our lawmakers to protect wildlife and their habitat 
by preventing the raid on Preservation 2000 funding.

Background

1. For 10 years, the Preservation 2000 fund has financed the 
acquisition of conservation, recreation and water resource lands 
throughout Florida. All of the remaining fund balance is needed for 
completing specific land acquisition projects over the next eight 
months. By withdrawing these funds, these lands may not be acquired. 
Thousands of acres of wildlife habitat will not be conserved. When 
the Preservation 2000 fund was created, the Florida Legislature made
a promise to Floridians to preserve Florida's imperiled lands and 
waters. For 10 years, lawmakers kept that promise. But the state's 
senators would break it by raiding Preservation 2000 funds. The 
Senate has acted against the will of the people. 

2. The Senate would spend Preservation 2000 funds to make up the 
state's share of the cost of restoring the Everglades. And that 
breaks another promise  the promise the Legislature made to fund 
Florida's share of Everglades restoration from general revenues for 
10 years. This sends a terrible message to Congress that Florida's 
funding commitment to protecting the Everglades is not certain and, 
thus, jeopardizes federal funding and the entire Everglades 
restoration agreement. 

3.Funding for the environment amounts to only 3 percent of the state 
budget. The Senate's raid on environmental funds sets the precedent 
that the environment is not important to Florida's future and that 
the Legislature, without public comment, can grab already insufficient 
environmental funding and use it for other purposes.
_____________________
        
Sample Comment Letter
_____________________

Dear      

I am writing to urge you to oppose the state senate's recent action 
to use for other purposes $100 million set under the Preservation 
2000 Program (P2000).  

The Preservation 2000 program represents a long term commitment by 
the legislature to finance the acquisition of significant 
conservation and recreation lands throughout Florida.  It is 
essential to the protection of many of Florida's threatened and 
endangered species. Florida must fulfill its responsibility to the 
citizens and to the federal government to pay our share of Everglades 
Restoration costs without reducing funding for other environmental 
programs. With the current raid of P2000 funding, legislators are 
putting wildlife at risk. All of the remaining P2000 balance is 
needed for completing specific land acquisition projects over the 
next eight months. By withdrawing these funds, these specific lands
may not be acquired and thousands of acres of wildlife habitat might
never be conserved. 

When P2000 was enacted, the Florida Legislature made a promise to 
Floridians to preserve Florida's imperiled lands and waters. For 10 
years, the legislature kept that promise.  I urge you to keep the 
Preservation 2000 promise and oppose the current raid on this vital 
program.

Sincerely,


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Defenders of Wildlife is a leading national conservation organization 
recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for 
wildlife and its habitat and known for its effective leadership on 
saving endangered species such as brown bears and gray wolves, Defenders 
advocates new approaches to wildlife conservation that protect species 
before they become endangered. Founded in 1947, Defenders is a nonprofit 
501(c)(3)organization with more than 420,000 members and supporters.

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