94 ways to get healthier in Alabama and have fun at the same time

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Oak Mountain State Park
View from Oak Mountain State Park. Photo by Linda Cato Wurstner-Oak Mountain State Park

Our forests, rivers and public lands in Alabama are chock full of opportunity for adventure. But, did you know they offer more than a great place to fish, hunt or hike? They actually help you stay healthier! Read on to find out how.

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Despite a 5-fold return on investment, Forever Wild needs your help. See what you can do now.

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Forever Wild
Fishing in Alabama. Photo courtesy of Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by Matt Ragland

Last year, on the 25th anniversary of the Forever Wild program, a study found that for every $1 invested in land conservation by the Forever Wild program, there is a $5 return on that investment in natural goods and services. That includes benefits such as wildlife habitat, flood control, and clean water.

Continue reading “Despite a 5-fold return on investment, Forever Wild needs your help. See what you can do now.”

Alabama’s unsung hero, the outdoor industry is responsible for 135,000 jobs

Forever Wild
Family hiking DeSoto State Park which has been expanded by the Forever Wild Program. Photo from Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources/Billy Pope

Earlier this year, the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) released Outdoor Recreation Economy reports that showed Alabama’s outdoor industries have created 135,000 jobs statewide.

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4 natural treasures Alabama has protected through the Forever Wild Program

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Family hiking DeSoto State Park which has been expanded by the Forever Wild Program. Photo from Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources/Billy Pope

In November 1992, the Forever Wild Constitutional Amendment was approved by an 84% statewide vote,a national record for a conservation ballot measure at that time. Twenty years later, in 2012, when the Forever Wild amendment was re-authorized by referendum, an overwhelming 76% of Alabamians voted to continue the successful program.

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Forever Wild turns 26. How Alabama established one of the greatest conservation programs in the state’s history

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Forever Wild’s Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. Photo from Alabamians for Forever Wild.

In 1992, Alabama had the least amount of public land set aside for conservation and wildlife in the South. The state of Alabama had no plan or programs to expand parks, nature preserves and wildlife areas. For more than a century, Alabama attempted to preserve and protect our natural treasures. It was crumbling and disappearing. Twenty-six years ago the people of Alabama changed that trend through the establishment of the Forever Wild program.

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Social media campaign helped defeat anti-Forever Wild bill

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Waterfall at the Walls of Jericho. This land has been protected by Forever Wild  and the Forest Legacy program- photo via alltrails.com

For the fourth time since it was renewed by a 75% vote of Alabamians in 2012, Forever Wild, one of Alabama’s most successful conservation programs in our state’s history withstood a legislative attack to change the constitutional amendment. Continue reading “Social media campaign helped defeat anti-Forever Wild bill”

Alabama weekly nature roundup – November 19 to November 25, 2016

Bankhead National Forest
Bankhead National Forest

Quote of the week:

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” -~Baba Dioum

Our favorite stories this week: Patagonia’s Give 100% to the Planet commitment, the story about the Little River Canyon National Preserve and where you can recycle cooking oil in Jefferson County.

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