The Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project: Field Testing a Pay-for-Environmental-Services Program
S. Lynch; L. Shabman
Type of Document:
Resources for the Future (RFF)
Date of Publication:
Place of Publication:
The Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project (FRESP) was recently launched, which will field test a program to complement the existing restoration programs such as the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan (LOPP), which uses public funding to build treatment wetlands, drill aquifer storage, and capture rainwater (to delay its arrival downstream). FRESP will pay cattle ranchers to provide environmental services that will benefit the lake.
The program came about after a 2004 study conducted by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with several cattle ranchers concluded that a program to promote changes in water management practices on 850,000 acres of improved and unimproved pasture could moderate water flows to the lake, reduce phosphorus loads beyond what is required by LOPP, and add to wetlands habitat. The study concluded that the agencies could buy these environmental services from cattle ranchers at a lower cost than producing the services by building new public works projects. The same study identified barriers to be overcome if a pay-for-services concept was to become a reality. For this reason, a pilot program was envisioned as an essential step toward implementation.
(Source: primarily Excerpt from article)