• District 3 Rep. Jayer Williamson July 2021 Newsletter

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    July 30, 2021
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    | JULY 2021 |
    Earlier this month Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 976: The Florida Wildlife Corridor Act, which designates the Florida Wildlife Corridor as an existing physical, geographically defined area comprised of over 18 million acres, of which almost 10 million acres are conservation lands.
    Developed through a coordinated effort of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Coalition, the Corridor relies on and continues the decades of work by numerous scientists and conservation organizations that recognize landscape-scale conservation approaches as a way to address habitat loss and fragmentation across Florida. 
    This landmark legislation passed unanimously in both chambers and is supported by $300 million earmarked in the 2021-2022 Florida Leads Budget and $100 million allocated to the Florida Forever program. The funding can be used to acquire Florida Wildlife Corridor lands, in fee simple or conservation easements. Of the 7.8 million acres of remaining opportunity areas that do not have conservation status, 1.7 million acres are designated as a high priority. They include tracts of land that spread across Santa Rosa and other Panhandle counties. 
    Not only will these efforts preserve and protect vulnerable lands and waters, but they also provide essential habitat and connectivity for 131 imperiled animals and 567 imperiled plants. This includes iconic wildlife such as Florida Panthers, Whooping Cranes, Wood Storks, West Indian Manatees, Gulf Sturgeon and many more that need our lands and waters to move, grow and prosper. 
    Additionally, protecting our ecological future also ensures our access to unique recreational activities among the Corridor’s 74 State Parks, 32 State Forests, and 182 first and second magnitude springs, which positively impact our physical and mental health. As a tertiary benefit, this access also positively impacts tourism by way of the 1,323 named rivers and streams that includes 1,577 miles of designated paddling trails that cross the Corridor. Economic drivers are also found among the 3.6 million acres of ranchland and 5.3 million acres of timberland, of which only 5% are already protected.
    The opportunity to build upon a network of public and private lands will conserve critical natural ecosystems and working landscapes to protect our unique and diverse wildlife while preserving green spaces for generations to come here in the Panhandle and across our great state. As our area continues to experience unprecedented growth, it is more important than ever that we make strides to mitigate the impact of each new car, rooftop and irrigated lawn on our ecosystem. 
    CLICK HERE to learn more about the Corridor projects, watch expedition films, download detailed maps that illustrate the Corridor and much more. 
    Tuesday - August 3
    10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Tiger Point Community Center
    1370 Tiger Park Ln, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
    Thursday - August 19
    10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    UF IFAS Extension Okaloosa Co.
    3098 Airport Rd, Crestview, FL 32539
    Thursday - August 12
    10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    SRC Economic Development Office
    6491 Caroline St., #4, Milton, FL 32570
    Constituent Service Days are held in South Santa Rosa County on the first Tuesday of each month, in Central Santa Rosa on the second Thursday of the month and in North Okaloosa County on the third Thursday of each month.
    Appointments are not required for our Constituent Service Days and meetings are held on a first-come-first-served basis.
    For additional information about any of our Constituent Service Days, please email Ashley.Jeffrey@MyFloridaHouse.gov.
    The 2022 Regular Legislative Session is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. Below are the dates for the interim committee meetings:
    • Monday, September 20 – Friday, September 24
    • Monday, October 11 – Friday, October 15
    • Monday, October 18 – Friday, October 22
    • Monday, November 1 – Friday, November 5
    • Monday, November 15 – Friday, November 19 
    • Monday, November 29 – Friday, December 3 
    Jayer Williamson, State Representative
    ashley.jeffrey@myfloridahouse.gov, (850) 995-3698