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Trail for Sale

April 1st, 2011 by flanews

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow corporations to advertise on hiking trail signs at state parks. The ads would bring in millions, but As Whitney Ray tells us, nature lovers say it would ruin the experience.

Todd Bertolaet enjoys the sights and sounds of natural Florida. He took a brisk walk on a hiking trail Friday to relax.

Id love to see a diamondback on this particular trail, said Todd Bertolaet.

But he may soon be seeing something not so natural: advertisements. State lawmakers are considering selling ad space on walking trails to help fill the 3.8 billion dollar budget gap.

So that means you soon could be walking on your favorite hiking trail and find a Coke can, and you may also find the trail is sponsored by Coke.

Governor Rick Scott is encouraging lawmakers to leave no stone unturned in their search for cash.

Everybody in our states had to tighten their belts; we have to look at every opportunity we can, so I think its something we ought to look at, said Scott.

But for Todd, nature is sacrosanct and seeing ads at his favorite parks would ruin the experience.

We have to have some sanctuaries, and ya know this is one sanctuary for all of the public, said Todd.

The trails for sale bill is tied to legislation allowing advertising on state roads, which may in the end kill the idea because Federal law prohibits advertisements on many interstate systems. There hasnt been an economic study on how much money the legislation would generate, but supporters of the bill estimate it could raise 10s of millions of dollars.

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