Bill could open up state parks to cattle grazing, timbering, hunting or worse. Photo: Murray Grey cows and calves, Walcha, NSW
We urgently need you to call your state Senator. A bill is headed to the Senate floor that would remove key environmental protections for Florida State Parks and threaten the use and enjoyment for all Floridians.
SB 1290 passed out of its last committee last Thursday and could be brought to the floor of the Senate on Monday. March 7. Please call your Senator and urge him or her to vote 'No'unless SB 1290 is amended to:
• Exclude our state parks and preserves from the land exchange provision. These important lands must not be given up to private use in exchange for conservation easements that could well eliminate public access
•Require land management plans to remain consistent with the purposes for which they were acquired. DEP's goal of requiring land management plans to be compatible with conservation or recreation purposes or both potentially opens our parks and other conservation lands to inappropriate uses like hunting, logging, grazing, and off road vehicles. 'Conservation' and 'recreation' are broad categories and the purposes the lands were acquired for may be much narrower. The bill's language grants DEP too much discretion.
This is the last real chance to impact this bill. The House and Senate versions are the same and could be sent to the Governor next week. Please call your Senator now, tell them where you live and that you vote.