You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

breaking news

UPDATE: Dwyer High School in Gardens will be open Tuesday

POINT OF VIEW Evicting LNWR would hurt Everglades restoration


Florida is home to America’s first national wildlife refuge, and may also be the first state to lose one. Gov. Rick Scott’s administration has taken steps to evict the federal government from the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, a decision that could have devastating impacts on both the ecological and political future of America’s Everglades.

As one of the largest publicly owned parcels of remaining Everglades lands, the refuge protects 144,000 acres of wetlands and cypress swamp and serves as water supply to the region. The land is owned by the state, and has been leased to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1951 to be managed within the network of federally protected lands and waters that make up the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The debate over this land is about its lease requirements for invasive plant management. Old-World climbing fern is a formidable opponent for refuge managers, overtaking native habitat. Its thick, leafy branches “re-sprout” almost anywhere, making eradication arduous and expensive.

If the state is successful in taking back these 144,000 acres, the land will be operated as “Water Conservation Area 1” with a very different mission than that of a national wildlife refuge.

While the recent statement of principles from the South Florida Water Management District indicates the agency will allow free public access, its commitment to conservation is sparse. There is virtually no mention of wildlife or water quality protection. The Governing Board says it will devote “sufficient resources” to control invasive plants, with no information about how an agency that has revoked a number of financial commitments in recent months will find these resources.

Perhaps more importantly, eviction could change the dynamic of the federal-state partnership that has long been the cornerstone of Everglades restoration. Given the state’s recent efforts to circumvent the need for land acquisition in the Everglades Agricultural Area to provide storage, treatment, and flow of water south to Everglades National Park, it would likely push to instead use this land to store polluted agricultural runoff.

CARA CAPP and MIKE BALDWIN, HOLLYWOOD

Editor’s note: Cara Capp and Mike Baldwin are national and state co-chairs of the Everglades Coalition, respectively.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Letters Obama’s trips? Try $1M a day for Trump’s N.Y. security

Obama’s trips? Try $1M a day for Trump To the letter-writer decrying having to pay for one more vacation for the Obama family, (“Taxpayers on hook for final Obama trip?” Sunday), after paying $97 million for their vacations for the past eight years (like his are the only ones we have ever paid for): You do realize that taxpayers are...
POINT OF VIEW Women’s march did more harm than good

Can anyone tell me what was accomplished by the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday? Please tell me it wasn’t only the sale of thousands of pink hats representative of a demeaning name for the female anatomy. Tell me it wasn’t angry and sometimes violent rhetoric spewed by celebrities who have no idea what women in the real world...
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon: Jan. 24
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon: Jan. 24

CARTOON VIEW JACK OHMAN
Letters: If Trump succeeds people will support him

Sorry to see President Trump starting office on such a bumpy road. However, if he sticks to his determination to bring America back to where it was, I think the people will rally around him. Also, he must sound more humble and connect with those who are against him. God Bless him in his endeavors. PHYLLIS FRANCO, PALM BEACH GARDENS Trump should be...
Editorial: Raja’s ‘fear for life’ excuse falls flat
Editorial: Raja’s ‘fear for life’ excuse falls flat

There are things we have long known about the October 2015 tragic shooting of Corey Jones by former Palm Beach Gardens Police officer Nouman Raja. That Raja, while working a plainclothes detail to prevent car burglaries in parking lots, shot Jones to death on an Interstate 95 off-ramp. That Raja drove his unmarked white police surveillance van up the...
More Stories