In 1996, Lee County voters approved a referendum to establish a conservation land acquisition program. At that time, Lee County had very few protected, natural areas. Growth and development were beginning to rapidly replace natural spaces. Concerned citizens came together to propose and advocate for the referendum. This group coined the term "Conservation 20/20" to symbolize a vision for the future of Lee County balanced between necessary growth and development and protected conservation land.
Twenty years later, in 2016, Lee County voters returned to the ballot box and voted overwhelmingly with 84 percent support for the Conservation 20/20 program to continue. Today, nearly 30,000 acres of conservation land is protected in Lee County through the Conservation 20/20 program. These lands protect drinking water, reduce flood risk, protect native wildlife and plant communities, and provide spaces to enjoy nature-based recreation.
A group of grassroots Lee County citizens lobbied for the creation in 1996 of the Conservation 20/20 program
The Lee Board of County Commissioners created a citizen advisory committee by Ordinance 96-12 (later amended by Ordinances 15-08, 05-17, 13-09), called the Conservation Lands Acquisition and Stewardship Advisory Committee, or CLASAC, to oversee the selection and long-term management of conservation lands acquired through the program.