The calendar shares rare landscapes from across the state, selected from among more than 100 endangered sites awaiting funding on the Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Forever preservation list.

The Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture (LINC) announces its latest conservation photography calendar: Florida Forever. The 2012 calendar is a collaborative work featuring 12 of the state’s leading nature photographers focused on a selection of Florida’s most vulnerable but spectacular landscapes.

For more than two decades, the state’s Florida Forever program has been protecting sensitive land from development. Yet more than a million acres of land and water are still in need of protection. “These images capture the best of what remains of natural Florida,” says contributing photographer John Moran. “We hope this wall calendar serves as a daily reminder to all Floridians of the importance of preserving the state’s principal investment — the natural resources we all depend upon for sustenance, economic vitality and quality of life.”

“We hope this wall calendar serves as a daily reminder to all Floridians of the importance of preserving the state’s principal investment — the natural resources we all depend upon for sustenance, economic vitality and quality of life.”

The calendar shares rare landscapes from across the state, selected from among more than 100 endangered sites awaiting funding on the Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Forever preservation list. Each locale is celebrated through the eyes of some of the state’s most talented conservation photographers: Chad Anderson, Kevin Barry, Clyde Butcher, Will Dickey, Daniel Ewert, Jason Hahn, John Moran, David Moynahan, Mac Stone, Jim Valentine, Carlton Ward, Jr., and Eric Zamora. Their photos reveal stunning vistas, endangered waterways, native wildlife and fragile ecosystems that could all-too-easily be lost to development.

Four former Florida Governors – Rubin Askew, Bob Martinez, Bob Graham and Jeb Bush – share their views in the calendar on the need for Florida Forever and safeguarding priority lands from development. “Florida’s success in preserving natural resources is a tremendous asset for residents and visitors,” said Martinez. “It allows any person with the desire to enjoy the beauty of Florida’s woods, wildlife, wetlands and springs. Most importantly, future generations will inherit a state whose policies recognize the interconnectedness of people and ecosystems. Maintaining this shift in priorities will ensure a high quality of life—health, jobs, recreation—for years to come. Losing our focus will compromise the very foundation our state was built upon.”

Of the 36 properties featured in the last three Florida Forever calendars, only one – the Adams Ranch in Osceola County – has received protection. Gov. Rick Scott eliminated funding for Florida Forever from the most recent state budget, vetoing a bi-partisan proposal to use proceeds from the sale of surplus state lands to support the program.

“Land conservation is as fundamentally important today as it’s ever been, even in this economy,” says Carlton Ward, Jr., LINC founder and eighth-generation Floridian. “By pursuing cost-effective resource protection options such as conservation easements on private property, we can keep Florida Forever viable and moving forward. Floridians also need to speak up and let their legislators know that Florida Forever is vital to our state.”

The Florida Forever 2012 Conservation Photography Calendar measures 9-by-13 inches (32pp.) and is available from the University Press of Florida (www.upf.com | 800.226.3822) for $15. Please contact LINC at info@LINC.us or 813.362.4825 to discuss volume discounts. The calendars can also be resold to raise funds for schools, clubs, and community organizations. Calendar sales will help enable educational outreach supporting Florida Forever, as well as conservation photography fellowships and scholarships by LINC.

The Florida Forever 2012 Conservation Photography Calendar was made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors: Adams Ranch; Thomas Arthur; Cantonis Company; Colbert-Cameron Mitigation Bank; Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols; Creative Contractors; Creative Recycling; Earth Balance; Eco2Asset Solutions; Environmental Resource Marketing; Family Lands Remembered; James L. Ferman; Florida Next; Hill Ward Henderson; Moore, Hill Westmoreland, PA; Dean Saunders Real Estate; Tready Arthur Smith; The Spurlino Family; Timbervest; Tucker Hall; U.S. Green Building Council Gulf Coast Chapter; Westervelt Environmental Services; 1000 Friends of Florida; Archbold Biological Station; Everglades Foundation; Florida Audubon Society; Florida Wildlife Federation; and Sierra Club of Florida.