Monday, August 17, 2015

We should fear the fate of Florida's forest paths

Ox Bow Trail, Withlacoochee River
Citrus Springs, Florida
2015-08-04 (124)_HDR

We should fear the fate of Florida's forest paths and their loss to future generations if they are sold to the highest bidders and given over to special interests. These narrow ways through wild lands are foundational to this state's economic future. They lead to more than just the songs of bullfrogs and gator bellows and the staccato echoing screech of the limpkin in a river swamp. They lead us to our forefathers and theirs and the primordial connection between the human animals we are and where we and our ancestors came from. Forest paths take us back. That's why people love Florida and spend $76 billion a year here. They do not come for our malls, crowded asphalt toll ways, polluted waterways, phosphate mines, contaminant-belching power plants or center-pivot irrigation systems. They come for our forest paths to find themselves and discover a sense of their origins.


  1. Very well said Sonny and a great photo of the Ox Bow Trail!

  2. Several weeks ago, I read that there are plans to lease out portions of our state parks, including the Myakka River State Park for cattle grazing. If there were cattle on those acres now, after three weeks of heavy rain; I shudder to think how it would effect the river. The nitrates in cattle poop won't be washing upstream. Will there be bond posted to insure that the cost of adverse impacts will not be picked up by Florida's taxpayers? How many years will that take? How will it affect the Gulf waters? Unfortunately, I am no longer surprised by the actions taken by Florida's current governor and his appointees. All I can suggest is that you do as I have done, send emails, write letters, and telephone both your state and federal representatives to let them know you do not agree with how our state's natural and scenic parks are being put at risk. I know I am not alone in this. The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment passed by nearly three to one last year. The voters in Florida want to protect our natural resources.

  3. Right on, brother! This is the best argument on this point; why should anybody working full time for a rich corporation need to be on public assistance?

  4. I think that Sandspur should include wetlands and mangroves in his "fear the fate" message. Just this week SWFWMD's governing board voted 10 to 1 to approve a permit to build a private, luxury compound on Perico Island, just west of Bradenton. Nearly an acre of wetlands and mangroves will be filled. The project does not have federal approval yet. Let's hope that their review follows the law and does not bend it to special interests.