Friday, September 18, 2020

SIERRA CLUB, RAMETTA INTEND TO SUE OVER SERENOVA PRESERVE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept 13, 2020
Contact
: Tim Martin, Tim.Martin@Florida.Sierraclub.org, 727-251-9979

**PRESS RELEASE**

SIERRA CLUB, RAMETTA INTEND TO SUE OVER SERENOVA PRESERVE

On Sept. 10, the Sierra Club and Dan Rametta filed notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for violations under the Endangered Species Act with respect to the Ridge Road Extension project at the Serenova Preserve in Pasco County.  Under the Endangered Species Act, before a plaintiff may bring a failure to consult claim, it must serve the government agency with a notice of its intent to sue at least 60 days prior to filing suit. 

The notice outlined a number of flaws and inadequacies in the Biological Opinion prepared for the Ridge Road Extension project, which resulted in an unlawful avoidance of assessing the project’s impacts on the Eastern Indigo Snake.  The notice also addressed the Corps’ unlawful decision to bypass the comprehensive analysis process, known as formal consultation, for impacts to the Florida Scrub Jay and Red-cockaded woodpecker.

“A lot of damage has already been done. Gopher tortoise burrows and Eastern indigo snake habitat have been destroyed,” said Dan Rametta, a longtime opponent of the Ridge Road Extension. “Hopefully the judge will implement a stop work injunction immediately.  We would then like to see the area returned to its natural state.”

“Congress passed the Endangered Species Act nearly 50 years ago.  We are currently facing a massive global extinction of species. Upholding this bedrock environmental law is more important than ever,” added Tim Martin, Conservation Chair for Sierra Club Florida.  

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