Excerpt from the Executive Summary:
This Report is intended to inform the Board of County Commission’s discussion regarding the sustainability of the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department’s Alachua County Forever (ACF) land stewardship program. While staff has communicated this strategy to the Board over the years (September 28, 2005, February 17, 2006, July 17, 2006, and September 7, 2007), several factors prompt the re-issue of this report. There has been turnover on the County Commission and the ACF Program is maturing and repositioning itself with a stewardship-first focus.
In the 2000 general election, over 60% of County voters directed the Commission to “acquire, improve and manage environmentally significant lands.” This improvement and management -- land stewardship -- is funded from the County’s General Fund and a 10% set-aside from the proceeds of the 2000 ACF Referendum. This ACF stewardship strategy has resulted in these seed funds being used to leverage partnerships to great effect. Through FY15, ACF was able to leverage $2.14 million worth of non-personnel stewardship effort. This is 2.1 times the County’s own non-personnel investment over the same time period and represents funding and effort that the County did not have to spend on its sites. It represents what could have been the degradation in the sites -- the unfunded backlog -- if the County did not fund the full level of effort needed to sustain the conservation values of the property.
[Read the Full Report here]