At a Glance
ALABAMA FOREVER WILD
Up to $300 million ($15 million/year for twenty years) for land, water, parks, and wildlife
Funding mechanism: Interest on state offshore gas royalty trust fund (no new taxes)
Land, Water, and Wildlife Measure Received More Votes than any other Item on Ballot
On election day Alabamans came together and voted overwhelmingly to keep Alabama Forever Wild. The 20 year-old state fund that provides money for land, water, parks, outdoor recreation, and wildlife protection will get another 20 years. The fund will be supported by fees from natural gas companies that drill off Alabama’s coastal waters. This measure will not raise taxes.
Since 1992, the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust has protected more than 227,000 acres of natural areas to ensure clean drinking water, preserve wildlife habitat, and provide access for outdoor recreation. It has brought in $40 million in matching grants as well as gifts from private landowners. A vote on Tuesday was required to re-authorize the program.
The measure passed with 3 of 4 Alabamans approval. In a very divided electoral environment, the bipartisan measure received more positive votes than any other item on the ballot on Tuesday. It beat the rate of Alabama’s chosen presidential candidate (Mitt Romney) by 15%.
The Nature Conservancy provided significant support in the effort to renew Forever Wild.
"We are thrilled that the citizens of Alabama recognized the importance of Forever Wild to the future of our state," said Chris Oberholster, State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Alabama. "We knew from initial polling that water quality, access to outdoor recreation, and the economic contribution of $2.2 billion to the tourism industry in Alabama really resonate with people."
Alabamans' unified support for land, water and wildlife conservation is by no means unique. Land and water conservation measures across the country (57) had a 20% higher passage rate than any presidential candidate, in any state, passing 81% of the time.
Despite the program’s success, Alabama still has the least amount of land available for public use in the South and the state continues to lose publicly accessible hunting lands, wetlands and critical wildlife habitat at an alarming pace. Forever Wild Alabama will seek to remedy that shortfall.
The campaign was led by The Nature Conservancy, Alabama Wildlife Federation, Conservation Alabama, Freshwater Land Trust, Ducks Unlimited, and received support from the National Rifle Association, the League of Women Voters, the Business Council of Alabama, the Christian Coalition of Alabama, as well as numerous other hunting, fishing and environmental groups throughout the state.