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Florida Forever Is Left Forever Waiting After Legislators Cut All Funding Except $10 M

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Jason Dearen/AP
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The state has purchased 718,126 acres of land through the Florida Forever program since its inception in July 2001. This year, the Legislature has allocated zero funds to buy conservation land.

The Florida Legislature has voted to eliminate funding for Florida Forever, the state's popular land-conservation program.

On Monday, the House and Senate voted to approve a budget that does not include any money for the purchasing of environmentally sensitive land. In fact, the only money allocated towards Florida Forever this session was $10 million set aside to pay  ranchers not to develop their land.

Read more: Legislature Ends Session, Approves $83 Billion Budget

Reporter Craig Pittman has been covering environmental issues for the Tampa Bay Times since the start of Florida Forever. He joined WLRN's Bridget O'Brien to talk about why the program was created in the first place and what might happen to it without any funding.

You can read more of Pittman's coverage here.