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FWF policy positions about important issues around the state.

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Introducing New Southwest Field Representative
Introducing New Southwest Field Representative
In May, Meredith Barnard joined the Florida Wildlife Federation as the new Southwest Florida Field Representative. Ms. Barnard holds an undergraduate degree in Marine Science from the University of Miami and a graduate degree in Marine and Environmental Affairs from the University of Washington. She is a graduate of the Leadership Collier Foundation’s Growing Associates in Naples™ (GAIN™) and an active board member of the University of Miami’s Southwest Florida Canes Alumni Association. She has a variety of environmental talents and advocacy experiences including serving for the past two years as a policy advocate at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. After 24 years of service to the Federation and Southwest Florida’s wildlife, Nancy Anne Payton will retire this August.  Because Ms. Barnard and Ms. Payton have worked together on several local campaigns there will be a seamless transition as Ms. Barnard assumes responsibilities for the Federation’s ongoing wildlife protection, habitat connectivity, and crossings campaigns across Southwest Florida.
 Florida Wildlife Federation Celebrates Earthday With Northside Elementary School In Panama City
Florida Wildlife Federation Celebrates Earthday With Northside Elementary School In Panama City
The Northside Elementary School in Panama City was visited by Steve Theberge, Northwest Regional Director of the Florida Wildlife Federation, to help celebrate Northside's recent winning of the Federation's statewide Kids' Wildlife Habitat Contest. The Federation is headquartered in Tallahassee. This year's contest was the 9th, with former winners in Leesburg, Kissimmee, Miami, Pembroke Pines, Madeira Beach, and several other locations. The Florida Wildlife Federation is dedicated to encouraging the efforts of young people to be active outdoors and to be aware that our state needs everybody to help preserve our state's environment. The contest is open to all children in Florida 12 years old or younger who have helped to establish and maintain a place where food, water, cover, and a place to raise young are available to wildlife. Northside actually was given two awards, as they entered two separate gardens, one belonging to 2nd graders and one belonging to Kindergarteners. The 2nd grade garden, established with the help and guidance of 2nd Grade teacher Carla Santiny, is meant to attract toads, birds, squirrels and ladybugs. The Kindergarten garden, where students are supervised by April ...
Update on Jim Stevenson one of our past FWF award winners
Update on Jim Stevenson one of our past FWF award winners
By Jay Bushnell Each year at our annual meeting, FWF recognizes folks for their contributions to our conservation mission. It is their accomplishments that reflect who we are. As an organization, we are nourished by what these folks do. Their contributions reflect everything that is important to us. For many award winners, it is not a one time moment for them. Theirs is a commitment that continues to resonate throughout their lives. Jim Stevenson and his wife, Tara Tanaka are great examples of a lifetime commitment to conservation. Tara is a naturalist photographer. On our visit to their home, we were treated both to a video display, as well as, a real-time introduction to their conservation life.  The focal point of their home is the bald cypress swamp in their backyard that they acquired in 2007. This 45 acre swamp is managed by them to maximize it as a bird sanctuary.  FWC estimated that there were 275 wood stork nests in 2016-2017, the largest rookery of its kind in the Tallahassee area. Wood ducks, black-bellied whistling ducks use the nest boxes. Tara ...
Capitol Watch 2018 - FINAL
Capitol Watch 2018 - FINAL
Capitol Watch 2018 - FINAL 2018 Legislative Session, March 13. By Preston Robertson and Jay Liles.  SB = Senate Bill, HB = House Bill, CS = Committee Substitute It’s over. The Florida Legislature ended a few days late this year, but we now know what was passed and will go into law barring a veto by the Governor: Florida Forever Funding: Thanks in large part to Senator Rob Bradley, the budget contains $77 million to be spent on land purchases from the Florida Forever Acquisition list. Another approximately $23 million will go towards the Rural and Family Lands program, the Florida Communities Trust and smaller programs, for a total of $100 million. Unfortunately, this money is non-recurring (so only for this fiscal year). SB 370 (Bradley), which would have provided $100 million to the Florida Forever Trust Fund every year, though it passed in the Senate, was not heard in the House. The House bill which dealt with Florida Forever, CS/HB 7063 (Caldwell), never got a vote in the full House either. That means we will have to fight again next Session for Florida ...
Make a Tax-Free Gift to FWF from Your IRA
Make a Tax-Free Gift to FWF from Your IRA
Date 12/21/2017    Dear Friend of FWF: Last year Congress passed enduring legislation that extended the Charitable IRA Rollover incentive program for 2015 and future years. It applies to individuals 70 ½ and older to make distributions to charities from either traditional or Roth IRAs. As you assess the tax impact of upcoming tax changes on your financial situation, you may wish to make a year end charitable contribution from your IRA to the Florida Wildlife Federation in lieu of your minimum required distribution.   While not counting as a charitable contribution, a distribution from your IRA counts toward your minimum required distribution and will NOT be treated as taxable income as would otherwise be the case.  It is a tax-free transfer from your IRA account to FWF. Note that the transfer must be done through your IRA administrator (and not directly from you to FWF).  This is a unique tax-advantaged way to support the Florida Wildlife Federation while providing individual benefits at the same time. For further information, you or your financial advisor may contact: Tim Bachmeyer, Ph.D. FWF board member timbachmeyer1@gmail.com 561-801-5752
Protecting Florida’s Natural Resources Forever Map
Protecting Florida’s Natural Resources Forever Map
The Protecting Florida’s Natural Resources Forever Map shows Florida’s Existing Conservation Lands (green) and those which can be acquired (i.e., Potential Conservation Lands in reddish) if the Florida Legislature spends the funds from the Florida Land Acquisition Trust Fund as voters intended. These are lands which can be acquired with funds authorized by the 2014 Legacy Amendment to the Florida Constitution. The lands shown have been identified and prioritized under the Florida Forever Environmental Land Acquisition Projects program, the Rural and Family Lands conservation easement program and critical landscape-scale habitat linkages via the Florida Ecological Greenways Network. FWF is engaged in ongoing litigation seeking significantly increased funding for conservation lands acquisition. The conservation priority properties yet to be acquired are of demonstrable conservation and outdoor recreational value and will only be acquired from willing sellers. The properties to be acquired may be fee or less-than-fee permanent conservation easements.
Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) response to shark dragging incident
Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) response to shark dragging incident
Date 08/21/2017    The recent public video of individuals dragging a large shark from the back of a speeding boat, and other horrific videos depicting wildlife abuse, have rightly brought forth a tremendous outpouring of indignation. The Federation is not only concerned about these particular incidents, but what we perceive are the very meager penalties for those who violate fish and wildlife laws and rules in Florida. The vast majority of poachers, those who steal and abuse our public resources, are cited with a 2nd-degree misdemeanor, and usually fined a small amount of money. As the chance of actually being caught by an FWC officer is also minimal, unless one is thoughtless enough to put the crime on the internet, and as the penalty if convicted is oft-times inadequate, there seems to be little deterrence to wrongdoers. FWF has for years advocated that FWC and the Florida Legislature greatly increase all penalties and make them mandatory. Mandatory penalties will keep judges from handing out small fines that are simply the cost of doing business for the outlaws. Moreover, Florida’s fish and wildlife penalties ...
PROTECT THE PANTHER!
PROTECT THE PANTHER!
Date 08/02/2017    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is presently reviewing the status of our iconic Florida Panther. Please let them know the panther deserves the highest level of protection under the Endangered Species Act. The comment period ends August 29, 2017. Contact: David Shindle  Email: david_shindle@fws.gov Phone: 239-657-8013 Fax: 772-562-4288 Or mail comments to: David Shindle, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 12085 State Road 29 S, Immokalee, FL 34142. Thanks!
New Book: Travels on a Green Highway: An Environmentalist’s Journey
New Book: Travels on a Green Highway: An Environmentalist’s Journey
Date 07/31/2017    It is impossible to overstate the contribution Nathaniel Reed has made to transforming the culture of Florida. When he arrived more than six decades ago, Florida was continuing a long-held belief that Florida, its land, water, wildlife, other natural resources with few exceptions, were commodities to be used and disposed of at the will of the current generation of state residents Nathaniel and a small band of his disciples in less than a decade evolved Florida to a new definition – a treasure for which each generation has a responsibility to protect for future Floridians In culture and politics no victory is assured. Into his personal eighth decade Nathaniel battles frequent relapses into commoditization, his vigor and vision personifying the essential grandeur of natural Florida. This is a book of essays of Nathaniel Reed’s memories of behind the scenes events that helped shape this nations environmental laws during a period of environmental renaissance.  CBS Interview: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/inside-the-effort-to-protect-floridas-everglades/ Order Travels on the Green Highway: An Environmentalist's Journey by Nathaniel Reed https://www.amazon.com/Travels-Green-Highway-Environmentalists-Journey/dp/0692817999/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1486131389&sr=8-3&keywords=travels+on+the+green+highway  
ACTION ALERT! Florida Forever funding
ACTION ALERT! Florida Forever funding
Date 03/29/2017    Yesterday, the Florida House of Representatives released its proposed budget that provides a mere $10 million for the Florida Forever program! This was the program that was to be fully funded due to the passage of Amendment 1, the Water and Land Legacy Amendment, which 75% of voters supported in November 2014. Full funding had historically been $300 million per year under both Republican and Democratic Administrations.  Please contact the following elected officials and let them know that you want full funding for the Florida Forever program – that is what the people wanted by supporting the Water and Land Legacy Amendment! House Speaker Richard Corcoran – 850-717-5037 Rep. Ben Albritton – 850-717-5056 Rep. Ray Rodrigues – 850-488-1993 Senate President Joe Negron – 850-487-5229 Sen. Jack Latvala – 850-487-5016   Sen. Rob Bradley – 850-487-5005  To email all: richard.corcoran@myfloridahouse.gov; ben.albritton@myfloridahouse.gov;  ray.rodrigues@myfloridahouse.gov;  negron.joe.web@flsenate.gov; latvala.jack.web@flsenate.gov; bradley.rob.web@flsenate.gov Thank you!   Preston Robertson Florida Wildlife Federation Date 03/29/2017    Yesterday, the Florida House of Representatives released its proposed budget that provides a mere $10 million for the Florida Forever program! This was the program that was to be fully funded due to the passage of Amendment 1, the Water and Land Legacy Amendment, which 75% of voters ...
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