Environment

Land acquisition: FL senator tries again to secure funds for conservation program mandated by 2014 voters

BY: - January 24, 2022

Despite a constitutional amendment in 2014 mandating a vigorous program to buy and preserve sensitive land in Florida, funding for the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund has been unreliable and by most accounts not what voters had in mind. On Monday, state Sen. Linda Stewart, an Orange County Democrat, reintroduced her annual effort to require […]

COMMENTARY
House

Stupid legislator tricks: Mendacity, malevolence, monkey business at FL’s Capitol

BY: - January 24, 2022

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE — Well, that got stupid fast. The legislative session is only two weeks old and the reliably witless Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Somewhere Up Trump’s Rump) is moving a bill to fine professional sports teams if they don’t play the national anthem. Wait, you say, aren’t the Heat and the Magic, the Bucs and […]

Expansion in Gulf of Mexico drilling splits U.S. House panel along party lines

BY: - January 20, 2022

As the Biden administration’s move to scrap new oil and gas leases remains in unsettled legal territory, Democrats and Republicans on a U.S. House panel sharply disagreed about the merits of new energy development in the Gulf of Mexico. Democrats on the House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, including Chairman Alan Lowenthal of […]

COMMENTARY

Bills would help consultants make a killing off of killing off Florida’s seagrass

BY: - January 20, 2022

I have two kids, so believe me when I tell you that all parents are terrible liars. We constantly use what I call “feel-good lies” to make our kids feel better about the world we live in — even if our lying sometimes leads to bad results. “Santa Claus brought you those gifts,” we tell […]

Forest Service in ‘paradigm shift’ to use logging, controlled burns to prevent wildfires

BY: - January 18, 2022

The Biden administration will announce Tuesday it is using $3 billion from last year’s infrastructure law to revamp the federal approach to wildfire management, introducing a 10-year plan to deal with the large swaths of the West scientists consider most at risk of destructive blazes. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, is scheduled […]

Environmentalists in 6-year-old land-acquisition lawsuit fight to keep case alive

BY: - January 14, 2022

The Florida Wildlife Federation and its allies in a six-year-old lawsuit to protect a constitutionally mandated land-acquisition program are pressing on, despite a judge’s ruling dismissing the case. Earlier this week, they filed a motion for reconsideration of a recent ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge E. Layne Smith, siding with the Florida Legislature in […]

COMMENTARY

Actually, y’all, some of us would prefer facts with our politics

BY: - January 14, 2022

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE — In the first speech of his 2024 presidential campaign, not-so-cunningly disguised as the “State of the State” address, Ron DeSantis declared, We have made Florida the freest state in these United States. And the freedoms just keep coming. Florida women will be free from controlling their own bodies. DeSantis supports a bill […]

COMMENTARY

Decades later, EPA still working on cleanup of Florida’s “Mount Dioxin”

BY: - January 6, 2022

Florida has lots of communities with a history that is — oh, what’s a good word? Let’s say “unusual.” Sweetwater, for instance, was founded by a troupe of Russian circus midgets whose bus broke down. Sanibel’s drive to incorporate as a city was led by a trio of retired CIA agents, one of whom became […]

COMMENTARY

Retiring Florida parks director Eric Draper ranks climate change as a major threat

BY: - December 30, 2021

Do you have a Florida bucket list? I do, and every new year is a chance to check my progress. I crossed another item off it the other day when I stopped in at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. I was there to see Lucifer. The 210-acre state park in Citrus County features […]

COMMENTARY

Keep an eye on the folks in charge of ‘protecting’ Florida’s panthers

BY: - December 23, 2021

A lot of families this time of year deploy an Elf on a Shelf doll to (supposedly) keep an eye on their kids’ behavior. Better shape up or that weird doll will report you to the Big Guy! We never did the Elf thing, which seemed a little creepy. Instead, when our kids were little, […]

Environmentalists threaten EPA with lawsuit over the pollution killing manatees

BY: - December 20, 2021

An environmentalist coalition has served notice of its intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unless it intervenes with state regulators to halt the release of pollutants into the Indian River Lagoon, where endangered Florida manatees are undergoing an historic die-off. The notice filed Monday by Earthjustice, which litigates to protect the environment, gives […]

Is cutting down a tree for Christmas bad for the environment?

BY: - December 18, 2021

Christmas is a time for celebrating the season and a time for cutting down trees – and that holiday tradition sometimes leads to discussions about what’s best for the environment: Is it greener to buy a real tree or a fake tree, or abstain altogether? UNH forest resources specialist Steven Roberge explained some of the factors […]