FOREVER WILD TO HOST PUBLIC SESSIONS FOR LONG-TERM PLANNING
The Alabama State Lands Division has scheduled three public listening sessions to assist in developing a long-range plan for the Forever Wild Land Trust program. The plan will outline goals for future land acquisitions, activities hosted on Forever Wild lands and activities of the Forever Wild Land Trust Board.
Meetings will take place Jan. 23 at the Jackson Center in Huntsville, Feb. 20 at the Five River Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort and Feb. 27 at the Shelby Campus of Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham. The events start at 6 p.m. with an overview of the Forever Wild Land Trust program followed by public comments.
“These meetings are an opportunity for voters to discuss Forever Wild and provide input about its future,” said Alabama Farmers Federation Governmental and Agricultural Programs Department Director Brian Hardin. “We appreciate the Forever Wild Board of Directors for providing greater transparency in the administration of this program. We encourage Farmers Federation members to share their ideas about how Forever Wild can achieve its original mission to conserve unique and environmentally sensitive lands without infringing on private property rights or taking farmland out of production.”
The public also may provide written comments online at http://www.alabamaforeverwild.com/index.php/five-year-plan
The Forever Wild Land Trust began in 1992, with 83 percent of voters approving passage of Alabama Constitutional Amendment 543. The constitutional amendment provided funding for this state land acquisition program for 20 years. During the 2012 general election, Alabama voters again passed a constitutional amendment reauthorizing the funding of the Forever Wild Land Trust program for another 20 years.
During its first 21 years, the Forever Wild Land Trust program acquired 104 tracts of land totaling 240,678 acres. These public lands are found in 26 counties and provide for hunting, fishing, hiking, trail riding, wildlife viewing and other outdoor enjoyment. The land is managed as nature preserve/recreation areas, additions to wildlife management areas and additions to Alabama State Parks.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit OutdoorAlabama.com.