The Alabama Legislature is coming up with some crazy ideas to do anything possible to avoid the dreaded three letter world “Tax.” Another one of those stupid ideas is to take all the funds from the state’s Forever Wild Land Trust program and send it to the state parks in Alabama. I mean, backstabbing the people of Alabama who voted in 2012 in a constitutional amendment to approve this program is going way too low. I mean, going way below the dirt low. Forever Wild has been a wonderful program by buying up land with special values for public use, like Coldwater Mountain in Anniston for example. Without Forever Wild, the Coldwater Mountain bike trails would never exist!
But, the Alabama Senate voted 32-1 to approve SB 38, which would re-appropriate all Forever Wild funding to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to fund the struggling state park system. Oh by the way, Sen. Del Marsh from Anniston voted for this bill! I guess he does not care about the bike trails up on Coldwater Mountain! The only senator who voted against this bill was Sen. Cam Ward, thank you sir! If this passed the House, the voters would get to vote on this in early 2016. And this would be a disgusting way to preserve public outdoor areas in Alabama.
The Forever Wild program is funded by 10 percent of the interest earnings from the Alabama’s oil and gas royalties. And the bill in the legislature would prohibit further land purchases by Forever Wild. I mean, over 75 percent of people voted for Forever Wild in 2012, and passing this bill would be like a Big Brother or Survivor type of backstab where you thought you were safe, and then you see your torch snuffed and being said “the tribe has spoken.” The good news about this story is if this is passed by the House, this measure would be on a ballot most likely during the March 2016 presidential primaries.
And if we the people of Alabama gets to vote on this, who in the Hell in the legislature thinks the voters will say yes to de-funding Forever Wild when 75 percent approved it in 2012? I don’t think this has a prayer in the March 2016 elections, unless the people of Alabama have been reading and watching too much Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or Yellowhammer News. And the people who are supporting the de-funding of Forever Wild do a brilliant ad campaign scaring people about the state parks closing down and saying Forever Wild is some corrupt and bad program for Alabama.
The Forever Wild program has been a wonderful thing for Alabama. Places like Coldwater Mountain to the Walls of Jericho to the Mobile-Tensaw Delta have been preserved for future generations! The program has a list of 25 properties it would like to purchase across Alabama. But if the legislature gets their way, and the voters say yes, the Forever Wild program will be a thing of the past. And outdoor areas of Alabama will be harmed by this! I mean, having us the people pick between the state parks closing or continuing Forever Wild is a low blow! Come on clowns down in Montgomery! You are better than this! Quit listening to those with all the power and money and do what must be done, reforming the tax code where the rich needs to pay just a little more! If you care about the outdoors, hunting, hiking, and the beauty of Alabama, you need to be paying attention to this Forever Wild Story. And if this does make it to a ballot, vote NO! Mother Nature thanks you!