These are the first of 20 coming to Collier County
I believe the plan is to add about 300k residents to Collier, nearly doubling the county's population.
Written by Senior Environmental Planning Specialist April Olson
Collier Enterprises is planning for two more villages in primary panther habitat, and they want us to pay for some of it. How can this happen, you ask? Well, it can and will happen if the Collier County Board of County Commissioners approves two new 1,000-acre villages, Longwater and Bellmar, within the Rural Lands Stewardship Area (RLSA). In addition to causing devastating impacts to the endangered panthers last remaining habitat, the developer proposes to pass on to the County many of the costs necessary for providing the new villages with the required infrastructure and services.
This has been in the works for quite a while, I believe there are 10 affected species on tens of thousands of acres. Links to discussions from when there were 9 developments planned have been scrubbed: now there are 20.
A year ago, the Florida Legislature conceived a program to create three new toll roads totaling 330 miles across Floridas hinterlands the largest toll-road project in the country.
If nothing else, the idea was ambitious. The Legislature specified that the new tollways would be planned, designed and completed in under 10 years by 2030. It took 11 years from the passage of a 1953 bill creating Floridas Turnpike to build the 265 miles from Miami to Wildwood, Floridas Turnpike mainline. The new highways would increase the turnpike system mileage by 68% from its current 498 miles (Floridas Turnpike Enterprise, page 90).
The Panthers have had a tough time of late. This is a good overview.
Floridas state animal has been listed under the Endangered Species Act since the laws inception in 1973. The panther was once so scarce that some thought it gone altogether. When scientists discovered survivors in the 1970s and 80s, the cats were withered and gaunt. They were so inbred that they had crooked tails and faulty hearts. Some adult males even had undescended testicles. Their population had dwindled to a couple dozen hidden away in hot Florida forests.
At the time, the Florida panther was just hanging on by a thread, said Deborah Jansen, a National Park Service wildlife biologist who has spent decades wandering the backwoods of Big Cypress.
Jansen, who has blue eyes and a bright, tanned face, played a storied role in bringing the panther back from extinctions edge: She tracked them, studied them, and helped save them. She even once gave CPR to a dying panther. Last winter, Jansen and I met up at Big Cypress headquarters, hopped in her truck, and headed north toward a trail that would take us into the heart of the national preserve. During the drive, Jansen reflected on the panthers recent history: Roughly 40 years ago, scientists began studying the panthers in earnest to determine the cause of their decline. In 1995, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the countrys famed conservation agency, introduced eight pumas from Texas into the Florida panther population to fortify its failing genes. In the 2000s, the panthers numbers climbed and stabilized. Jansen was there through it all.
saw what I thought was a dead dog... It wasn't.. A Panther the color of deck shoes. Almost a dark red.. I called Fish and Wildlife and they said they would come by to collect the remains...If anything was left.. Everything gets eaten in the 'glades...
It was time to take a break and we agreed to stop somewhere for a beer. He insisted on going to an American bar so I led him to the casino.
If youre listening...list the panther and the grey wolf as endangered species. Now, please!!