- Twelve counties in Florida will receive money for education.
- Nearly half of those counties are in the Big Bend.
- See how the money was raised and how it will be distributed below.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson announced over $213,000 in funding to support education in 12 fiscally constrained Florida counties. The funding comes from proceeds from operating Florida’s state forests, including the sale of timber and recreation fees from millions of annual visitors.
“Florida is blessed with world-renowned state forests that provide more than 1 million acres of wildlife habitat, year-round recreational opportunities, groundwater recharge, responsibly managed timber resources, and much more,” said Commissioner Wilton Simpson. “I’m proud to award over $213,000 to support education in 12 rural, fiscally constrained Florida counties from the proceeds of operating Florida’s state forests.”
Based on fiscal year 2022-2023 gross receipts, FDACS will distribute a total of $213,524.71 to county governments and school boards in the following counties:
- Levy: $84,686.58
- Baker: $63,826.02
- Wakulla: $27,935.90
- Franklin: $14,318.48
- Washington: $6,508.75
- Desoto: $6,172.88
- Gadsden: $2,374.95
- Hendry: $2,036.14
- Liberty: $1,369.30
- Hamilton: $1,310.94
- Madison: $327.06
During fiscal year 2022-2023, the FDACS collected approximately $7,506,678 from the operation of state forests, including 4.1 million from the sale of timber and $2,457,735.68 in recreation fees from over 18 million visitors. Per Florida Statue 589.08(1) [lnks.gd], FDACS provides 15 percent of the gross receipts from a state forest to counties deemed fiscally constrained in proportion to the acreage located in each county.
FDACS’ Florida Forest Service manages 38 state forests encompassing over 1,169,860 acres. Through a comprehensive resource management plan, FDACS encourages the use of forest lands for recreation, as a habitat for threatened and endangered plants and animals, for soil and water conservation, and as a source of raw materials for a dynamic wood-using industry.