|Florida Native Plant Society members right up |
front, prepared to speak at public hearing
And who do you think is sitting in the very front of this hall? Well, I'll tell you. FNPS members. I can see at least three members of the Florida Native Plant Society who sacrificed personal plans to make the trip over to Plant City for the hearing this afternoon. You can bet they were there early and had their comment cards filled out.
Front row, on the left, is Annie Schmidt, the Society's Conservation Chair, Daphne Lambright, Treasurer, Anne Cox, Chair of the Land Management Partners Committee, and to Anne's left, Katy Roberts, from the FNPS Pinellas Chapter. I have just learned now, (Saturday night) that FNPS member Brooke Martin, not in photo, was present and spoke on conservation considerations at the hearing. Kudos to all for putting your beliefs into action.
The Southwest Florida Management District, commonly known as Swiftmud, had put 8 additional lands on the table to be considered for opening to hunting. Which 8 it would be was a piece of information that was revealed late in the game. However, Anne, who had records through her work on the Land Management Partnership, an FNPS group that works to help the state keep public lands cared for, rounded up bodies, got documents into their hands, and said, "Read now," ensuring that comments they made would reflect the Society's stance of "science-based" decision making.
There are many issues involved in the hunting question, certainly too many to go into this late at night. But when this picture made the email rounds; it was taken by Audubon, it deserved to go on record right now.
I am proud to be a member of the Florida Native Plant Society. I invite you join us. Preserving and protecting Florida's native plants and native plant communities with wonderful people.