Florida Forever

The Florida Natural Areas Inventory provides scientific support to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for Florida Forever, the nation's largest environmental land acquisition program. The Inventory contributes in two key ways: scientific review of newly proposed land acquisition projects, and comprehensive natural resource analysis and scoring of all Florida Forever projects using the Conservation Needs Assessment and F-TRAC.

Staff Scientist Reviews

For each Florida Forever proposal review cycle, FNAI scientists contribute to a multi-phase evaluation process.

First, new applications are reviewed and the Inventory prepares a Preliminary Evaluation Report in advance of the first vote of the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC).

Second, for those proposals voted upon for further evaluation, FNAI staff scientists conduct field assessments. Field assessments help ensure that FNAI data reflect current local site conditions, and also give the applicant an opportunity to share additional information. Staff summaries from each assessment are incorporated into a multi-agency evaluation report compiled by DEP, Office of Environmental Services. DEP's evaluation report is presented to the ARC prior to the final vote and project ranking for each cycle.

Conservation Needs Assessment and F-TRAC

FNAI has conducted a statewide analysis of natural resource conservation priorities for the Florida Forever program. We created or compiled GIS data layers for rare species habitat, natural communities, ecological greenways, large landscapes, significant surface waters, natural floodplain, functional wetlands, aquifer recharge, coastal resources, cultural resources, and sustainable forestry. This Conservation Needs Assessment establishes baseline protection status for each natural resource, and provides a tool for tracking progress in resource acquisition.

FNAI has also developed the Florida Forever Tool for Efficient Resource Acquisition and Conservation (F-TRAC) to evaluate Florida Forever projects based on multiple resource values. In advance of each ARC project ranking in December, FNAI provides a comprehensive report that scores all Florida Forever projects on their values for individual resources and F-TRAC.

    Florida Forever Project Evaluation and Progress Reports for Fall 2019 Cycle:

    Project Comparative Analysis Table - November 2019 (450 KB pdf) Excel Version (70 KB) "Bubble Sheet" Version (490 KB)
    This table, formerly known as the "bubble sheet", provides concise summary resource scores for all current and proposed Florida Forever projects. Also available are sortable Excel worksheets for the supporting data underlying the Comparative Analysis. Resource Evaluation Scoring Worksheets - November 2019 (250 KB)

    Natural Resource Acquisition Progress Report - November 2019 (193 KB pdf)
    This report tracks acres acquired of each natural resource layer included in the Conservation Needs Assessment, tied directly to measures outlined in the Florida Forever legislation.

GIS Data and Maps
The latest Conservation Needs Assessment GIS data layers are available for download here. These data are updated approximately once a year.

FNAI Florida Forever data and analysis fall into two categories:

First, Conservation Needs Assessment data are the original data layers tied directly to measures outlined in the Florida Forever legislation.

Second, the Conservation Needs Assessment data layers have been combined into functional groupings for analysis. These groupings and related analyses are known as the Ranking Support Analyses (RSA).

    RSA Report November 2019 (5.5 MB pdf)
    The RSA informs two primary evaluations for Florida Forever Projects: the Single Resource Evaluation (SRE) and the Florida Forever Tool for Efficient Resource Acquisition and Conservation (F-TRAC). Detailed methodology for the RSA, including the SRE and F-TRAC analyses, is provided in the RSA Report. Results of the SRE and F-TRAC analyses are reflected in the Florida Forever Project Comparative Analysis.

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