On October 11 and November 5, 2012 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Acquisition and Restoration Council are holding open house events to allow the public to comment on how Florida Forever projects should be prioritized. The Department and the Council develop an annual ranking of statewide land acquisition projects to prioritize the distribution of funds. The ranking is under review and includes more than 100 projects on the Florida Forever priority list, as well as the new Florida Forever proposals.
Karen Schoen, a proponent of individual property rights, in an email states, “Florida Forever owns/controls enough land costing the taxpayer billions yearly. We must Stop Florida Forever and the artificial land grabs. Florida Forever will have 2000 people at the poles for a petition drive to get more money to buy more land. We must do the same.”
Schoen offers draft legislation to stop the funding of Florida Forever. The proposed act begins, “Relating to public policy, due process, and private real property; to strongly reject United Nations Agenda 21 and its ancillary programs; to prohibit the State of Florida and all of its political subdivisions from adopting and developing environmental and developmental policies that, without due process, would infringe or restrict the sovereignty of the State of Florida and private property rights of the owner of private property.”
“According to its Web site Florida Forever manages 9,900,000 acres already (owning 2.5 million acres which were purchased costing the taxpayer lost tax revenues) Florida Forever owns or controls 10% of the land in Florida. The Florida Forever map on their web site looks like the Agenda 21 bio-diversity map,” notes Schoen.
Diane Ross in her March 2011 column “The Florida Story” states, “Spread the word and expose corrupt conditions such as exist in Miami Dade County. Property owners in the remaining part of 8.5 square mile area, Hialeah and South Dade in Dade County, Florida have been subjected to attacks on their private property rights by the Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) along with … Local Governments for Sustainability and various government officials.”
Ross stated, “Property owners are understandably distrustful of government using the arm of DERM (which is funded through taxpayer dollars, fees, fines and grants) to potentially confiscate their property. DERM declares people’s property a ‘wetlands’ without supplying documentation of soil tests and other criteria that are stated on their website. The documents have been requested from DERM but so far DERM has never presented any.”
“The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI ) has a commitment to ‘sustainable development’ throughout the world which in essence results in a private property land grab veiled in warm and fuzzy terms. ICLEI comes up with regulations and other ideas that restrict property owners from using their land. Their regulations include the Endangered Species Act, wetland regulations (as in Dade County) and a myriad of other laws governing the use of plants, animals, air, water, land and sea. ICLEI has infiltrated local governments in the USA and around the world,” reports Ross.
Ross found, “Harvey Ruvin, Miami Dade Clerk of the Court, was Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of ICLEI, a non-elected position. He is also Chair of the County’s Climate Change Advisory Task Force (CCATC). He, with the Mayor of Miami Dade County appoints the Financial Director. He also serves on the Executive Council of CCOC (Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corps) which discusses budgetary business for the 67 clerk offices in Florida. He has the power and contacts to help implement United Nations Agenda 21 policies that take people’s rights away in the name of the “environment.”
Pam Evans says, “Miami Dade County is run by a government that is proud to be a model city for ICLEI – a United Nations program implemented through local town councils, planners, mayors….”
Those unable to attend the public hearing are invited to provide their 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 ARC and current Florida Forever projects, visit: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/lands/arc.htm.