Wild Florida!

COMMENTARY

Rare FL butterfly bounces back, offers lesson for saving other critters

BY: - September 23, 2021

We could all use a little good news this week, so here’s the rare environmental story that will make you pump your fist and shout, “Yeah!” Earlier this month, during a visit to Gainesville, I took my kids to see the huge butterfly rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History. They were impressed. Everywhere […]

COMMENTARY

Rescuers race to save Florida’s corals while federal government plans more dredging

BY: - September 9, 2021

About four months ago, I drove over to Orlando and saw something I’d never seen before, something guaranteed to produce a reaction of “Ooooo! Ahhhh!” It was sort of like seeing the fireworks at Disney World for the first time, only not nearly as loud. While Disney may be the quintessential Mickey Mouse operation, that […]

COMMENTARY

When it comes to FL politicians and the environment, a myth is as good as a mile

BY: - August 26, 2021

You may find this hard to believe, but Florida is full of mythical creatures. I don’t mean the fantastic critters you see at the theme parks – the talking mice, the flying carpet, the dancing candlesticks serving your dinner. No, I mean things like our version of the Yeti, the odiferous Skunk Ape. It supposedly […]

COMMENTARY

Raising the dam-nable road that ruined Florida’s Everglades

BY: - August 19, 2021

Much like all the Florida men and women who drive on them — usually while yakking on their phones, fixing their makeup, and reloading their guns — Florida’s roads tend to have a, shall we say, “interesting” backstory. For instance, Interstate 4, the deadliest highway in the nation, is supposedly haunted by the ghosts of […]

COMMENTARY

It’s a sin what we’ve done to Florida’s seagrass

BY: - August 5, 2021

The news reports around where I live in St. Petersburg have been greatly concerned with weights and measures recently. It’s an effort to quantify the horror of the ongoing red tide algae bloom by recounting the staggering amount of the sea life that has turned up dead: 500 tons! Three million pounds! 1,711 tons! And […]

Gov. DeSantis on COVID surge: ‘The name of the game is to keep people out of the hospital’

BY: - July 19, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis played down the significance of a surge in COVID-19 infections on Monday, calling it a seasonal phenomenon. He also warned against trying to shame vaccine-averse people into taking the shots. “I do not agree with some of these people — some of these quote-unquote experts — who lambaste people and criticize them […]

COMMENTARY

Down under FL’s Wakulla County, flirting with disaster with our biggest spring

BY: - July 15, 2021

Ask any of my friends (yes, I do too have some!) and they will tell you I love music. Rock-bottom blues, jumping jazz, smooth soul, bouncy bluegrass — name a genre and I’ll name the songs I enjoy. You might say my theme song is the O’Jays’ “I Love Music.” Speaking of theme songs, I, […]

COMMENTARY

Move over, Florida panthers! Refuge wants to let in more people

BY: - July 8, 2021

Sometimes I think Florida should hold a regular competition for the The Most Laughably Bad Idea of the Year. Some years, the competition would be pretty fierce because hey, let’s face it, it’s Florida. In others, the winner would be easy to pick. In 2011, for instance, no other competitor came close to the proposal […]

COMMENTARY

Florida’s air quality is great — just don’t inhale the algae bloom poison

BY: - July 1, 2021

I’ve been married for more than a quarter century, so I am a little hazy about how the dating world works. But I recall a time — way back around the Mesozoic Era, I think — when you’d hear someone trying to convince a reluctant friend to go on a blind date by using language […]

Endangered species to get a reprieve under Biden administration plans

BY: - June 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — The lesser prairie-chicken, a rare dancing grouse once abundant on the Great Plains, could benefit again soon from the protection of the U.S. government. So could the rusty patched bumblebee, a black-headed pollinator that at one time ranged from Georgia to Maine and across the Midwest. The Biden administration is rewriting how it protects endangered species—making […]

COMMENTARY

Proliferation of pumping permits produces preposterous pipeline proposal

BY: - June 17, 2021

I hope you are sitting down. I have some startling news. I have learned that Florida people do not have a great reputation for using the sense that God gave us. Shocking, isn’t it? Do you need some smelling salts? Apparently, our Florida men and Florida women are known nationwide for doing crazy stuff like […]

COMMENTARY

FL Legislature, longtime enemy of conservation funding, OKs creating wildlife corridors

BY: - June 10, 2021

Eight years ago, I talked to a nature photographer named Carlton Ward Jr., an eighth-generation Floridian, about a crazy idea he had. To me, it sounded both heroic and quixotic, but I didn’t tell him that. Ward’s idea, cooked up with bear biologist Joe Guthrie, was to lead a small group of people on a […]