On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, Alabamians cast an overwhelming vote of confidence in the State’s Forever Wild Program by approving the continuation of its funding. Three out of four individuals who cast votes expressed their desire to see the program move forward by securing more public land for public use.
Forever Wild is Alabama’s Land Trust Program. The program secures special lands for public outdoor use for all Alabamians, forever. These lands are secured with funds received from the interest the state earns from royalties on its natural gas extracted off the state’s gulf coast. No tax dollars are used for securing these properties and the program has no negative effects on the state’s general fund. Many refer to this as “conservation currency,” as the state takes money received from one natural resource (natural gas) and invests it into another natural resource, Forever Wild properties.
With less than 4 percent of Alabama’s land mass secured in the program, the least of any neighboring Southern state, the citizens of Alabama sent a strong message of approval for the program. As a result of the vote, properties used for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain bike riding, camping, etc., will continue to be set aside for future generations of Alabamians to enjoy.