Conservation Land Acquisition & Management (CLAM)
Update: The CLAM was adopted by the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners on January 25, 2021.
Currently, we are in the process of selecting the CLAM Committee. Upon closure of the application period, Nassau County staff will review all applications for completion, consistency with selection criteria in the CLAM Plan, and alignment with program goals. After completion of the vetting process, County staff will provide the Board of County Commissioners with ranked list of potential committee members. Nassau County staff reserves the right to undertake an interview process with some or all applicants if deemed necessary by County staff to provide a ranked list of potential committee members.
Once the Committee is finalized a process will be set in place for the nomination of lands.
CLAM COMMITTEE APPLICATIONS
The Application Period will run through March 26, 2021. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on March 26. Applications received after the application period will not be considered. Applications and resumes must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m., March 26, 2021.The Nassau County Conservation Land Acquisition and Management (CLAM) program was created to preserve and conserve the county’s natural, historic, and working lands resources by identifying, ranking and assessing conservation lands for acquisition and management.
The acquisition of conservation land requires skills and oversight not typical to the usual committee and staffing structures present in county government. Therefore, it is desirable to have a committee to deal with the unique requirements of a conservation lands program. Generally, the committee shall handle four tasks related to the county’s conservation lands acquisition program: ranking of nominated properties; recommendation of potential acquisitions; review of management plans; and review, monitoring, and enforcement of conservation easements.
County planning staff is currently soliciting applications for volunteers to serve on the CLAM committee. Candidates at a minimum should have skills, expertise or demonstrable experience that relate to the acquisition of conservation lands, either in:
• natural resource management and biology;
• agriculture and forestry;
• community planning;
• environmental engineering or civil engineering where their work has been in stormwater or green infrastructure projects; and
• environmental regulations, land use law, or commercial real estate in so far that it has dealt in vacant, rural lands.
The ideal candidates will have experience in at least two of the above categories, or ten years of experience in at least one. You must be a Nassau County resident.
In 2020 Nassau County was behind the state's average for counties in terms of natural resource protections, having only preserved 7% of their landmass, as compared to a statewide average of 29%. Nassau County is also facing new and significant development threats, transforming from a mostly rural county to a growth center in the Northeast Florida region. However, the County has a bounty of healthy natural resources, including wild and scenic rivers like the St. Marys, Nassau, and Bells Rivers, a unique barrier island, and boundless miles of forestland.
To begin the process of preserving and conserving the county's natural, historic, and working lands resources, the County Commission directed Staff to develop a plan to conserve and manage conservation lands. This plan was developed by County Staff with the assistance of the North Florida Land Trust (NFLT), a 501(c) non-profit operating in Nassau County and throughout North Florida. NFLT was retained by the county to bring their experience in the identification and acquisition of conservation resources to assist in the creation of a countywide Conservation Lands Acquisition and Management (CLAM) program. NFLT utilized their experience in strategic conservation planning to develop for the county a plan which to identify, rank, and assess conservation lands for acquisition and management. The final CLAM is a manual of operations for the administration and management of the CLAM program and supplementary documents like the conservation lands calculator and nomination form. The NFLT also reviewed and updated the County's inventory of natural resources and the existing regulatory tools within the county's control, mostly planning and zoning tools, and recommended administrative and other changes needed to implement the CLAM.