Yet Another Threat to Forever Wild Defeated
After the dramatic death of anti-Forever Wild House Bill 362 last week, we were hoping to finish out the 2018 legislative session without any further threats to Alabama’s public lands. On Tuesday night, Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville), introduced Senate Bill 370, which would limit Forever Wild’s ability to acquire land in rural counties.
We got ready to once again go to bat for Forever Wild, but luckily the Senate Committee on County and Municipal Government voted the bill down during their Wednesday meeting. Several committee members spoke out against the bill, saying that it infringed on property owners’ rights by limiting who could purchase their lands.
SB 370 was another attempt to assist rural counties that are looking for ways to increase their property tax revenue. We don’t believe that a legislative “fix” is necessary to address these county-level concerns, particularly when the proposed changes negatively impact a conservation program that voters overwhelmingly chose to renew for another 20 years in 2012.
We’ll continue to watch for any new threats to Forever Wild and Alabama’s public lands as the session winds down. You can subscribe to our Hot List to get weekly updates on the bills we’re following, and check back here each week for a short recap of the legislature’s work.