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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30, 2010
CONTACT: Dee Ann Miller, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 519-2898 (cell)


DEP Seeks Public Input on Numerical Ranking of Florida Forever Projects

~Second hearing to be held to allow public testimony for land acquisition decisions~

TALLAHASSEE The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), along with the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC), has instituted a new process for establishing funding priorities for conservation land acquisition projects, after 10 years of ranking Florida Forever projects in either "A" or "B" priority groups.

"It is important that public testimony be given prior to the June ARC meeting, since the members will be expected to bring their individual ranking recommendations to that meeting. The ARC members will consider public comments as they prepare their lists," said Deborah Poppell, Director, DEPs Division of State Lands. "All comments received before June 1, 2010 will be made available to the ARC members to be considered in their deliberations for Junes ranking exercise."

Two public hearings were scheduled; one was previously held in Tallahassee on April 16 and the final one is scheduled for May 6, 2010 in Arcadia. These hearings provide the public with opportunities to refresh and educate the eleven ARC members on each of the more than 100 projects on the Florida Forever priority list. Project rankings will be a primary factor for determining whether a project is funded under the program.

If you are unable to participate in the public hearing, you are invited to provide comments in writing via email to Jim.Farr@dep.state.fl.us or via US mail to Mr. Jim Farr, ARC Staff Director, Division of State Lands, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, MS 140, Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000. For more information about the Acquisition and Restoration Council, please visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/lands/arc.htm.

Mike Bullock

"All comments received before June 1, 2010 will be made available to the ARC members to be considered in their deliberations for Junes ranking exercise."

Deborah Poppell
Director of DEP's Division of State Lands

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Last updated: April 30, 2010

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