Pros and Cons Of Forever Wild Amendment on Ballot

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By Lisa Blackwell

 

 

Eleven proposed constitutional amendments will be on the ballot next month.

One of them asks you to renew the Forever Wild land trust program for another 20 years.

But with the state's struggling economy... some say you should vote "NO".

Passage of amendment one would allow the state to purchase more land for outdoor recreational purposes.

Proponents say the state doesn't have enough conservation land while opponents say there's better ways to spend the money.

A grass roots effort is underway to get voters to vote no on The Forever Wild amendment.

Frank Dillman a representative of the group Not Forever Wild, says Alabama already has enough conservation land.

"We have 2 million 53 thousand acres for recreational land that's already been identified here in the state held by other entities, national forests included and I really see the need for using this upwards of 300 million dollars for twenty years for other purposes," said Dillman.

He says with Alabama's economy in such dire straits, the money could be saved or used for agencies that have a budget crunch.

There's no less than three issues on this ballot that deals with state finances and here forever wild is going to use 300 million dollars why isn't the governor and others saying hey lets save that 300 million

Grady Hartzog, Treasurer of Alabamians for Forever wild, say voters should pass this amendment because Alabama ranks last in the amount of recreational land in the southeast.

"When we acquire a piece of land that's an asset that goes on the books for the state of alabama and that asset helps our bond fund rating it adds to the assets of the state of Alabama," said Hartzog.

Some people we talked to who declined to go on camera say they are in favor of renewing forever wild. Others are not.

Charles Richards of Montgomery, says, "We need to put that money elsewhere I believe."

If voters vote against the amendment, the only way to use any of the money for other programs is if legislators drafted another amendment and put it before a vote of the people.

 

Over the last twenty years The Forever Wild Land Trust has acquired over 220 thousand acres of land.





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