Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida Forest Legacy Program

Forestlands not only supply timber products, but also provide wildlife habitat, watershed protection, and recreation and aesthetic values. The rapid development of Florida’s forest areas to non-forest uses poses an ever-increasing threat to maintaining the state's valuable forestlands. Fragmentation and parcelization across our state are resulting in the loss of these valuable ecosystems and the biological, economic and social values they provide. 

About 750 people move to the state every day, and more and more forests are converted to non-forest uses. Each day about 240 acres of Florida’s forests disappear. How much and which forests should we conserve for our children and their children? The Forest Legacy Program can help us decide that by complementing the state’s existing conservation programs, including the  Rural and Family Lands Protection Program.

The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) grant program whose purpose is to protect environmentally important forest areas that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses and, through the use of voluntary conservation easements and fee simple purchases, to promote forestland protection and other conservation opportunities. 

Florida's Assessment of Need [ Adobe PDF Document 2.39 MB ] (AON), which contains an assessment of the forests and forest uses and a description of forces that are converting forests to non-forest uses, describes Eligibility Criteria developed by the state to identify important forest areas to be proposed as Forest Legacy Areas (FLA), and acts as a guide to implementation of the FLP in the state, was approved by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns on April 11, 2005. 

Forest Legacy Projects/ Fiscal Year (FY)

The following is a summary of projects proposed and acquired under the Forest Legacy Program since its inception in Florida:

Wakulla Caves Forest FY2018 [ Adobe PDF Document 16.84 MB

Gulf Coastal Longleaf Initiative FY2018 [ Adobe PDF Document 7.67 MB

Suwannee Working Woodlands FY2018 [ Adobe PDF Document 12.30 MB ]

Forest Legacy FY2017 Projects

USDA Proposed Forest Legacy Projects, FY2017 [ Adobe PDF Document 45.54 KB ]

Silver Springs Watershed FY2017 [ Adobe PDF Document 4.52 MB ]

Wolfe Creek Forest FY2017 [ Adobe PDF Document 8.90 MB ]

Gulf Coastal Longleaf Initiative FY2017 [ Adobe PDF Document 2.56 MB ]

Forest Legacy FY2016 Projects

Silver Springs Watershed 

Wolfe Creek Forest

Forest Legacy FY2012-15

Projects either not funded or submitted. 

Forest Legacy FY2011

Two projects submitted with one approved for funding.

Northeast Florida Timberlands

  • FLP Funding: $3,500,000
  • Project Sponsor: City of Jacksonville
  • Status: Closed May 2013

Forest Legacy FY2010

Three projects submitted with one project funded.

St. Vincent Sound to Lake Wimico Ecosystem

  • FLP Funding: $2,500,000
  • Project Sponsor: State of Florida/ Florida Forest Service
  • Status: Acquisition unsuccessful.

Forest Legacy FY2009

Two projects submitted. Florida FLP Coordinator served on National Ranking Panel. Project Submissions not funded under FLP.

Forest Legacy FY2008

Florida did not submit a project.

Forest Legacy FY2007

Florida’s FY07 Forest Legacy project was the first project in the nation to bring together Forest Legacy and the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI). This fee purchase is a significant buffer along the eastern boundary of Camp Blanding. FLP helped fund 3,071 acres with REPI program funding the remaining 425 acres. 

Northeast Florida Timberlands Bull Creek (3,071 acres)

  • FLP Funding: $2,250,000
  • Project Sponsor: St. Johns River Water Management District
  • Status: Closed August 2007

Forest Legacy FY2006

Project submissions not funded under FLP.

Forest Legacy FY2005

Newnan’s Lake – Rayonier (2,420 acres)

  • FLP Funding: $493,000
  • Project Sponsor: St. Johns River Water Management District
  • Status: Closed June 2005

The Florida Forest Service, as lead agency for Forest Legacy, is seeking public agency partners for future Forest Legacy projects. Forest Legacy Project proposals and applications [ Adobe PDF Document ] for the next federal budget cycle are now being accepted. Application guidelines [ Adobe PDF Document 563.85 KB ] are also available. 

Additional Sources of Information

Some Participating Partners

FLP Sponsors