Audubon Florida News

Hurray! Judge Revokes Permit for Mirasol Development

wood stork

From Eric Staats at Naples Daily News:

A federal judge has revoked an environmental permit for a controversial golf course community in northern Collier County. Wetlands and endangered wood storks that roost at nearby Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary have been the focus of a twisting decade-long legal fight over the permit for the Mirasol project — and it isn’t over yet.

In an order filed Friday in Miami, U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez sent pieces of the permit review back to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for another look. The 56-page order takes issue with the way biologists calculated the amount of fish for wood storks to eat at the Mirasol site, some 1,700 acres owned by IM Collier Joint Venture at the northwest corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard. Questions about the fish prey calculation also call into question the amount of mitigation federal permitters required of the developer and their analysis of the cumulative impacts of other developments in the Cocohatchee Slough, the order states.

The order revokes the 2007 permit on only a narrow set of issues, but that didn’t dampen environmental advocates’ elation. “I can tell you that we’re absolutely thrilled to prevail after all this time,” Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary executive director Ed Carlson said. “We’re waiting to see what happens next.”

The National Wildlife Federation, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Collier County Audubon Society, Florida Wildlife Federation and National Audubon Society sued the federal government over the Mirasol permit.

Continue reading about the current Mirasol victory at Naples News.

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