Audubon Florida News

Audubon Speaks Up on Behalf of Florida’s State Parks

posted on July 6, 2011 in Land Conservation,State Government,Videos

Tarzan Tree at Wakulla RiverIn light of the recently announced proposal to build RV campgrounds in 56 of Florida’s State Parks, Audubon of Florida testified at a public comment hearing at regarding the development of a portion of Wakulla Springs State Park.

Read coverage of this meeting from the Tallahassee Democrat.

The proposal, in its current form, would site a portion of the first magnitude spring’s protected area for development of 120 RV camping areas. Although Audubon is dedicated to working with the state to help promote and protect our parks, we feel the development of 120 RV campgrounds is way too much for the magnificent Wakulla Springs system to handle. In addition, the decision on whether to proceed with construction in the park will be decided on August 19 – too soon to fully study the impacts of this decision.

At the Wakulla Springs meeting, over 150 people crowded the meeting room at the UF/IFAS extension office in Crawfordville. Audubon supporters were part of near 1,000 citizens at the meeting regarding a similar proposal for Honeymoon Island State Park in Pinellas County.

Craig Pittman, of the St. Petersburg Times, covered the Honeymoon Island meeting – read his coverage here. More coverage from the Sarasota Herald Tribune here.

At the Wakulla meeting, speakers were largely upset with the plan and the rush to change the much-beloved landscape surrounding the spring. Fifth generation landowners spoke of discomfort with the rush to build and were joined by past park employees and managers in that assessment. Stay tuned to Audubon of Florida News as we report from meetings across the state.

**UPDATE: The Pinellas County Commission has voted AGAINST the proposal to build these RV developments in Honeymoon Island State Park.

Watch Audubon of Florida Director of Wildlife Conservation Julie Wraithmell as she comments at the hearing for Wakulla Springs State Park.

You can add your comments to the state about this issue in writing or via email. Please write to:

Ms. Jessica K. Sims
3900 Commonwealth Blvd. MS 500
Tallahassee, FL 32399
jessica.k.sims@dep.state.fl.us

 

Audubon of Florida wants to hear from you, too:

Were you at one of the meetings or will you be attending the meetings tonight at De Leon Springs State Park or Fanning Springs State Park? Tell us about it on our Facebook Page or comment at the end of this blog post. We want to know how Florida feels about this proposal!

 

**Update II – Audubon was present at the Fanning Springs State Park meeting. Over 40 people showed up to let their voices be heard in this rural community in North Florida. Our reports indicate that a majority of citizens disapproved of the current plan to build RV Campgrounds in the small park – it’s only 200 acres! Another major concern was the water quality of the spring, which is already impaired. How would an RV camping developments affect this waterway and what is the plan to ensure the increased usage does not impair the it further? If you were there, please post your report in the comment section below!

 

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