Hundreds Protest Proposed Plan to Allow Commercial Activity in Florida State Parks

By

IMG_0160Protect Paynes Prairie Coalition, a group of concerned local citizens, sponsored a march that went from First Magnitude Brewery north to University Avenue, choosing a high-profile drag in Gainesville to bring attention to a Florida Department of Environmental Protection proposal.The FDEP drafted a strategic plan last year that could potentially open state parks to commercial uses such as cattle grazing, logging, and hunting.

“They’re not hunting grounds, they’re not tree farms, they’re not cattle ranches. In fact, some state parks are ex-cattle ranches” restored to their status as natural habitats, said Whitey Markle, a local musician and conservation chair for the Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club.

Markle said the changes could negatively impact Paynes Prairie’s environment.

“Every one of these parks is a special place, geographically, historically, culturally,” He said. “There’s something there that people wouldn’t have spent the money to put it aside.”

About Olivia Courtney

Olivia is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

Check Also

Large-scale alligator farming affects Florida tanneries and small businesses

Alligator farming has become a critical source of skins for the leather industry. The skins are more pristine and can be raised in the most optimal conditions and many more of them can be supplied. Alligator farming has also played a role in conservation efforts for the species. But a consequence of the advent of farming has been an oversupply of skins that has made their value plummet. This oversupply has mainly come from large-scale industrial farms that can slaughter thousands of animals every week and have chomped smaller operations out of business.