“YES” on Amendment 1 on the November 2014 ballot
The Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign is an effort to get a
dedicated source of funds to protect Florida’s environment—to
have 33% of net revenues from the existing excise tax on
documents go into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund “to acquire,
restore, improve, and manage conservation lands”. This is not a
new tax and these monies have historically gone to land
acquisition. The language in the amendment prohibits the
legislature from raiding this trust fund for other purposes.
In Florida, we depend on our natural systems for clean drinking
water, unpolluted rivers, lakes, and streams, and the unspoiled
natural beauty that makes our state unique. Because Florida
relies on its beaches, springs, rivers, lakes and parks as a key
part of our tourism economy, we can’t afford not to protect our
land and waters. Florida has many critical funding needs,
including education, health care, public safety and
transportation—but water and land conservation are a vital
component of Florida’s future. When the state budget is more
than $60 billion, this amendment would set aside less than 1
percent for water and land conservation. This isn’t a matter of
cutting other vital services; the amendment would take an amount
that had been used for water and land conservation and dedicate
it for that same purpose, but with constitutional protections.
The amendment would have very little real impact on existing
state funds for other services.
Boy Scouts and OAS Erect Chimney Swift Tower at OWP
Swift tower was recently constructed and installed at
Orlando Wetlands Park (OWP) in Christmas, Florida, by
members of Boy Scout Troop 125. Robert Grieger, an Eagle
Scout candidate, and his fellow scouts and troop leaders
erected the tower next to the environmental education
building at OWP. This was a cooperative project with Orange
Audubon Society (OAS) and OWP. Chimney Swifts in North
America are very dependent on man-made chimneys like this
since far fewer chimneys are accessible to swifts nowadays
than in the past.
"Thanks to the City of Orlando and funding from the Griegers
and a special Audubon collaborative grant, two low-light
video cameras have been installed in the tower. Now we wait
to see "We have built it, will they come?"."