Florida to freeze land preservation program

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- In the deepest of sweeping cuts to environmental programs, Florida lawmakers plan to ax the state's premier land-buying program, Florida Forever.

The Legislature is moving to freeze the $300 million annual land fund, which has preserved more than a half-million acres of ecologically sensitive lands across the state -- enough to cover a third of Everglades National Park.

They also aim to whack programs that mend injured manatees, clean up polluted waterways and build new gopher tortoise habitat to make amends for those buried alive under development.

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