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Agriculture Press Release

March 11, 1999

Friends of Florida State Forests Organized

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford announced today that the "Friends of Florida State Forests Inc.," has been established as a direct support organization of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"As the name implies, this organization is intended to attract all those who use and enjoy our state forests and are interested in supporting programs and activities that will ensure the future of this resource," Crawford said. "We all benefit from our state forests, whether from the products they provide or the recreational opportunities they offer."

The non-profit organization will conduct programs and activities, and raise funds through grants and gifts, for the support of Floridas state forests and programs of the Departments Division of Forestry. It also will recognize public-spirited citizens who contribute to programs and help the Division of Forestry further its mission.

A 15-member statewide board of directors, which will guide the organization, includes representatives from groups throughout the state who utilize the various resources provided by state forests, including the forest products industry, horseback riders, hikers, hunters, motorcycle riders, forest educators and others who have a vested interest in ensuring our forests remain for future generations.

The board will help fund and support activities of the Division of Forestry, including programs related to environmental education, fire prevention, recreation and forest management. Recreation will be one of the main areas of emphasis for the Friends organization, which will help develop and fund such projects as kiosks, boardwalks, shelters, interpretive trails and other recreation facilities.

Florida has more than 740,000 acres of state forests, which are managed under a multiple-use strategy for the benefit of all.

"I urge everyone interested in conserving the resources of our state forests for future generations to consider joining Friends of Florida State Forests," Crawford said.

The Friends of Florida State Forests Inc., has membership levels for everyone -- from students to corporations. Members will be part of a statewide organization dedicated to improving the quality of the programs and activities offered on state forests.

For more information, or to make a contribution to Friends of Florida State Forests Inc., call (850) 488-7246, or write: Friends of Florida State Forests Inc., Florida Division of Forestry, 3125 Conner Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650.

 

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For more information:

Terry McElroy (850) 488-3022

Paul V. Palmiotto (850) 488-7246


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