loss of country

To: "birding Aus" <>
Subject: loss of country
From: Goodfellow <>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 00 15:39:47 -0000
Hello All

I've been far too busy to participate lately  and so will just pass this 
on.  It's a little group in Florida fighting to save some of their 

Greetings.  To answer your questions, the loss of the large live oak 
mostly impacted the landscape since they were in bahia pasturelands.  
supported a number of state listed species including burrowing owls and 
Sherman's fox squirrel.  The 3000 or more destruction of the remaining 
natural uplands (longleaf pine and turkey oak) was much more damaging and 
lost well over 1000 gopher tortoises which provide habitat for at least 
species found in this dry savannah habitat. Some of these lands were 
to be purchased by the state under their land conservation program 
The state has been so slow in purchasing these lands, the Davis ranch has 
purchased them.  As long as this clearing was not happening near a major 
highway, no one including the local politicians would pay attention.  We 
get the destruction stopped around the bald eagle nest.  I should point 
that local conservation organizations have yet to make any effort to get 
state to get these lands purchased or to do anything but howl now, after 
fact.  We are extremely concerned about 650 acres which surround the 
at the base of this ancient sand dune.  Many of the species we have here 
migrate to the wetlands and back several times a year, the loss of that 
corridor will have effects on the faunal populations on our preserve.  
Meanwhile, since we could not get help from anyone, we developed our own 
conservation organization and are now working with landowners to put land 
conservation easements with habitat management requirements (we manage).  
met with Mr. Davis yesterday and I am to meet with his land manager today 
early next week.  They will consider some form of land management on this 
piece.  Meanwhile the folks who have complained have had some impact in 
the folks in the CARL program are waking up to the situation at 
Pond and may begin buying lands again.  I am trying to get The Nature 
Conservancy to assist in possibly getting a conservation easement on the 
acres if that becomes necessary (paying Davis a percentage of what the 
is worth to insure they will not develop it or do intensive tree 
Meanwhile, there are three agencies involved in managing the Watermelon 
CARL project.  One is the Dept. of Forestry.  The DOF has just produced a 
management plan for this land which has been purchased to protect 
biodiversity.  They propose to put the natural areas into pine plantation 
(exactly like the situation on the Davis property).  According to the 
proposed management plan, conservation organizations in our county and 
government have been involved in the decision making that led to the 
development of the plan.  I have yet to find one that had any input. 
There is 
a public hearing about the plan on May 2 and I hope that some formal 
statements can be provided by Alachua County, the city of Archer, and the 
conservation organizations to demand that the management plans be changed 
enhance biodiversity, including proper burning and systematic thinning of 
tree stands which are now too dense to provide habitat for must upland 
lowland species of plants or wildlife.  Bottom line in all of this is 
is no unified conservation plan within state agencies, local governments 
carry out conservation, even on lands purchased for this purpose.  This 
situation gets worse because agricultural folks are exempt from most 
regulations pertaining to habitat protection and protected species.  On 
other hand, local governments are hamstrung when it comes to land use 
planning and control of development, especially when these lands are not 
wetlands.  We have no laws that protect uplands.  The amount of habitat 
on just one highway going west out of Gainesville has lost as much or 
habitat in 6 months than those lost on the Davis ranch and there is no 
way to 
control it.  

I hope this gives you some background on the situation.   Regards,  Ray 

Ashton Biodiversity Research & Preservation Institute, Inc.
5745 SW 75th St. #331
Gainesville,  FL 32608
Phone 352-495-7449
Fax  352-495-7433

Denise Goodfellow (Lawungkurr Maralngurra)
Specialist Guide
Ph/fax 08 89818492
PO Box 39373

Parap Bookshop
2ndhand and new books
08 89813922

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