Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Greedy developers seek to weaken endangered wood stork protections

Ed. Note: The efforts described in the articles below by builder groups and deep-pocketed developers to weaken protections for endangered wood storks amount to nothing more than a charade of misinformation based on pure greed, plain and simple. The builders cite 2006 nesting numbers and point to the big rebound in wood stork nesting this year. However, they fail to mention the fact that during 2007 and 2008 South Florida’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, historically the largest wood stork rookery in the U.S., suffered complete nesting failures. Additionally, overdevelopment in South Florida has already driven wood storks into North Florida and beyond. Wildwood Preservation Society has been working for more than three years to protect core foraging habitat for endangered wood storks in Fred George Basin, Leon County. Even with the current protections in place, one must cut through a mountain of red tape in order to prevent reckless developments in and around wood stork habitat. One final point: these builders want to keep paving over our state with new homes while hundreds of thousands of existing residential homes sit vacant due to the housing and economic crisis.

Bird vs. builders: Endangered stork's status called 'an albatross'
By David Fleshler
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Related AP story: Fla. builders want endangered bird reclassified
Although the recession is the chief obstacle to the construction of new houses in Florida, the building industry has taken aim at a more humble opponent: the endangered wood stork.

Everglades' wood stork enjoys a rebirth
By Curtis Morgan
Miami Herald
Related AP story: Wood stork population flying higher in Everglades
A boom in breeding by the rare wood stork has added fuel to developers' argument that the bird no longer belongs on the endangered list.

Latest scapegoat..er bird in housing slump debate
By Tom Palmer
Lakeland Ledger
A large wading bird appears to have joined impact fees as the prime culprit for lack of recovery of the housing market.

Florida's Growth Machine: blame the birds
By Gimleteye
Eye On Miami
It is sickening to watch the Growth Machine taking advantage of the worst economic crisis since the Depression to gear up new rules and regulations so that when housing markets return, citizens will have even less access to the law to protect their communities and the environment.

Endangered wood storks nesting in Fred George Basin, Spring 2009. Photo courtesy of Richard Leighton, Florida Nature Photography.

Wildwood Preservation Society is a non-profit 501(c)(4) project of the Advocacy Consortium for the Common Good. Click here to learn more.

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