Funding short for buying new conservation lands

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Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013 10:28 am | Updated: 4:50 pm, Tue Nov 19, 2013.

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Much of the land that the state considered surplus conservation lands that could be sold to raise money for the purchase other environmentally sensitive lands turned out to be worth conserving.

That's going to leave Florida with less money to spend on other land needed to protect natural resources.

In August, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection listed 169 properties as surplus. But the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1gY7Tjt) reports that after listening to public comments, the agency has cut that list to 77 properties.

Environmental advocates say that without more property available to sell, Florida may fall behind in acquiring new conservation lands.

The Florida Legislature budgeted $70 million for the Florida Forever land-buying program, but $50 million was to come from the sale of surplus conservation lands.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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