Action Alert: Save Conservation Collier

September 14, 2023

Conservation Collier, our local land acquisition program, is under threat of defunding! 

Over the past two decades, Conservation Collier has successfully purchased environmentally sensitive lands throughout Collier County, protecting native habitats for wildlife and listed species, along with preserving special places that are an integral component of our community’s character. 

Have you enjoyed a walk through Cocohatchee Creek Preserve, explored the mangroves wetlands on the Freedom Park boardwalk, experienced the tranquility of nature at Pepper Ranch, or immersed yourself in the archaeological and natural treasure that is the Otter Mound Preserve? If so, you know just how important having a local land acquisition program is. If not, get out and enjoy these natural areas!

Learn more about Conservation Collier Preserves at:

But, protection of sites like these can continue only if the Collier County Commission implements the will of the voters, who in 2020, by an overwhelming majority, enthusiastically supported funding Conservation Collier. 

See the below alert from Audubon Western Everglades and please, take action now!

At budget hearings Tuesday and last Thursday, the Collier County Board of Commissioners floated the idea of slashing or even eliminating the Conservation Collier budget. The current Board consensus seems to be a 41% cut.  This would be a tragedy.  Habitat loss is a top threat to every native species in Southwest Florida and Conservation Collier is the rare county program setting aside environmentally important lands.  Conservation Collier is highly successful, with 4,714 acres already acquired for native wildlife habitat and for public access.  Meanwhile, development has taken over countless more acres.  How much of Collier County should be built up, paved, and developed?  While the overwhelming majority of voters think Conservation Collier is a vital program, the Board of Commissioners will make their final decision on Thursday September 21st.

Can you email the Board of Commissioners and tell them that you value wildlife, wild places, and fully support Conservation Collier?  Voters overwhelmingly approved Conservation Collier at the ballot box three times since 2002.  If you ever voted for this landmark program, tell the commissioners that too.

And can you join us at the budget meeting next Thursday the 21st?  It begins at 5:05pm in the County Administration Building.

Thank you,
Andy Wells-Bean
Executive Director Audubon Western Everglades