Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 6:00pm
The Alabama State Lands Division will hold the second of three public listening sessions on Thursday, February 20, 2014, at the Five Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort, Ala., 36527. The listening session will begin at 6 p.m. with a brief presentation about the Forever Wild Land Trust program. The meeting will then be opened to receive comments from the public regarding suggested program goals for the future.
The public listening sessions are focused on assisting with the development of a draft long-range plan document for the Forever Wild Land Trust program. Once completed, this draft document will also be available for further public review and comment before being finalized. The initial five-year plan, once developed, will outline goals related to future Forever Wild land acquisitions, anticipated activities on currently held Forever Wild lands and anticipated activities of the Forever Wild Land Trust Board and will be updated on five-year increments.
The third listening session will be held at Jefferson State Community College - Shelby Campus, 4600 Valleydale Rd., Birmingham, Ala., 35242 on February 27, 2014. The first session was held in January 2014.
In addition to these public listening sessions, the public can provide written comments through the Forever Wild website, www.alabamaforeverwild.com/index.php/five-year-plan.
The Forever Wild Land Trust began in 1992 with the passing of Alabama Constitutional Amendment 543. This amendment was passed by 83 percent of voters during that year’s general election. 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 completed the acquisition of 104 tracts of land totaling 240,678 acres. These public lands are found within 26 of Alabama’s 67 counties providing Alabamians and visitors with opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, trail riding, wildlife viewing and other outdoor enjoyment as well as preserving the state’s natural heritage. All of this acreage is public land 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 promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Patrol, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.