Alabama voters decided Tuesday to extend the state's Forever Wild land preservation program for 20 years.
The program, initially approved by voters in 1992, has secured more than 227,000 acres of land for public use through purchases or long-term leases. Land acquired ranges from more than 5,000 acres of fragile marshes on the Alabama coast to more than 16,000 acres at the Walls of Jericho, a dramatic gorge near the Tennessee border.
The purchases are made with 10 percent of the interest and capital gains from the Alabama Trust Fund, which receives royalties from natural gas wells drilled along the Alabama coast. The program does not get money from General Fund or education budgets.
Conservation and hunting groups favored the measure. Opponents wanted to use the money in other ways.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.