Florida environmentalists launch petition drive toward land conservation effort
Environmentalists are launching a petition campaign for a proposed state constitutional amendment that would allow $10 billion in state funds over 20 years for land and water conservation in Florida. They say the legislature has slashed funding for the Florida Forever program by 97.5 percent allocating just $23 million since 2009. Florida Forever is designed to purchase and manage environmentally endangered lands. Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Robert Lopez spoke with the Executive Director of Audubon of Florida Eric Draper about the specifics of the Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign.
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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson met with UF researchers to discuss the impact that rising seas will have on North Florida and to look for ways to make the public aware. He questioned whether a natural disaster would have to occur before people grasp the severity of the threat.
Bradford County residents are struggling to travel due to rain from tropical system Erika. Sandbags are not helping, and motorists have found themselves stuck in mud holes that seem impossible to escape.
A petition launched by an environmentalist to stop possible cattle grazing and tree growing in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park has more than 10,000 signatures. The environmentalist, Shirley Lasseter, started the petition in response to a proposal by the DEP secretary to allow such for-profit uses to help pay for the parks.
State parks were identified by former interim secretary of the DEP Jon Steverson in a draft strategic plan as test cases for allowing commercial businesses to graze cattle, timber and hunt in the parks. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Steverson as DEP secretary today.
The FWC is conducting surveys to discover trends in species of fish being caught in the Gulf of Mexico. Local fishermen agree that monitoring the fish is important, but some question the method of data collection.