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Land conservation battle heads to high court

Environmental advocacy groups filed a notice with the court Friday.

A lawsuit over how lawmakers have handled a 2014 land conservation constitutional amendment is headed to the Florida Supreme Court.

Environmental advocacy groups filed a notice with the court Friday.

Those groups, including the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, filed suit in Leon County in 2015 over the Water and Land Legacy Amendment, also known as Amendment 1.

The constitutional change mandates state spending for land and water conservation.

Specifically, the amendment directs a third of documentary stamp revenues to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.

But environmental groups said the Legislature hasn’t used the money as required but has instead allocated it for projects that don’t fall under the umbrella of conservation, such as agency staffing expenses.

Last year, Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson sided with the environmental groups, but his decision was overturned by the 1st District Court of Appeal this year.

The 1st DCA denied the environmental groups a rehearing last month.

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