Senator Clay Scofield (R-Arab) has withdrawn SB-38, the bill that would have eliminated Forever Wild funding and placed the program (and its money) under the State Park system.
Scofield's bill proposed an amendment to the state Constitution that would have moved the Forever Wild funding to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which oversees state parks. It would have prohibited Forever Wild from buying any more land.
The fiscal note on the bill estimated the funding at $11 million a year, based on the last few years.
This move was opposed by hunting groups, conservation groups, the Forever Wild board, and the state park service. However, what really made the difference was citizen involvement and engagement, as Conservation Alabama noted in an email today. (see the image).
Senator Scofield engaged in a logical fallacy known as a “false choice,” which assumes that a problem has only two alternatives. In this case, Scofield wanted people to believe that we can have either Forever Wild or the state park system. But it's not a zero-sum situation. We can have both. Forever Wild was just re-authorized by the voting public by a 75% to 25% vote. It is not part of the state budget, but is funded by interest on the state's oil and gas leases.
SOOOO…. what do we see from this? Our voices do matter to legislators. Find your legislator here and contact him/her. Speaker Mike Hubbard said they may be working the weekend (like that's a huge deal, give me a break), so they're standing by to take your calls & read your emails folks.