Let's put a bounty on snowy egrets while we're at it.
I saw my first Florida panther 58 years ago. He crossed the road following Hatchet Creek on the north side of Newnan’s Lake. The lake is just to the southeast of what is now the Gainesville Municipal airport. This was a big cat. He was a block away when he trotted across in front of the car and there was no doubt this was a panther. I saw him two other times that summer. The last time he stopped at the tree line next to the creek. He sat down as I slowed down. He must have known it was me (ha) because he didn’t run, he just walked nonchalantly into the woods and out of sight. I remember it as though it were yesterday.
That was a very long time ago from the sad reality of today for Florida’s big cats. Our FWC has a director who started with the agency as a biologist straight out of school nearly thirty years ago. You would think Nick Wiley’s experience would be enough to have some hint of discernment when it came to a subject as fragile as the state’s panthers. However, it appears that he has colluded with a rancher appointee to the Commission to sign the extinction warrant for our big cats.
Sunday’s Tampa Times ran a front page story about the commission appointee, Liesa Priddy, owner of JB Ranch in Immokalee and her involvement in a policy rewrite concerning the management of Florida’s official state animal. Last January, she suggested to Wiley that it was time to revise panther policy away from helping panthers spread throughout the state and now to focus on preventing further losses of livestock and pets. The new policy was presented to the full commission in June and the outcry included not only the public but agency biologists directly involved with panthers. A final adoption was put off until the next meeting in September.
The commission, by the way, continues to spend over a million dollars a year on management and research regarding the small remaining population of the native cats that the commission estimates to number between 100 and 180 animals. Priddy, claims the cats have eaten dozens of her calves. FWC monitors say ten calves in two years. Just so we see the whole picture here. The biologists in the field have recommended reimbursing farmers/ranchers for their livestock losses. The same thing was done out west for wolf restoration. So far not a mention of money for reparations for what wild things do while they're still wild.
The Priddy-Wiley rewrite says, “that panthers have outgrown their carrying capacity in their habitat south of the Caloosahatchee River” – in other words too many for for the area to support naturally. The commission’s scientists strongly disagree. They didn’t even see this document until its release.
“There is no science supporting the statement about ‘exceeding carrying capacity,’” said biologist Darrell Land. He has studied panthers since 1985. In a May e:mail he told his bosses, “I am unaware of any analysis . . . that reached that conclusion. . .It is an opinion, not a fact.”
Wiley told the Tampa Times, “This is not a scientific paper anyway, it’s a policy paper." The policy also says that starting new populations is no longer the state’s concern. From now on, the state’s top priority will be preventing losses of domestic animals and making panthers more tolerable to landowners. Do tell. Now, there you have it.
Want to know where this really came from? Our governor, who appointed this person. He’s the same one who raped the DEP appointing do-nothing managers and sponsored funding slashing for water management, aquifer restoration and natural resource stewardship.
What’s next? Panther hunts and specific kills. It won’t take long to get rid of 180 of these pests. Maybe they’ll put a few more in roadside “zoos”. Welcome to paradise.
Who’s Minding That “Funny Farm”?
Harper Lee’s (?) “new” book Go Set A Watchman does one thing. It converts an American hero ( I know he’s a fictional character) into a racist, pillowcase wearing knuckle dragging, southern Neanderthal. This character has been smeared for money. Plain and simple. There’s one thing missing, A big Confederate Flag on the cover. I for one, won’t read this mistake. I am sorry for Ms. Lee. The only good thing is, she’s so old she probably won’t last long enough to be embarrassed by this manipulative travesty.
A Musical Interlude With One of the Original Wailers
Bonnie Rait & Emmy Lou Harris Dixie Chicken
Boiled egg timetable
This is a good one. Damn shame we pen these smart beings up for life. Beluga whale trains children to stay out of his pool.
Patrick Buchanan’s discussion of the Pope’s view of Capitalism
Francis is well liked but . . . you'll need to read the entire article to get the gist.
Degrees of sadness Thanx Writer’s Circle
And Last But Not Least
Trump is so cute. Want to see mushroom clouds at the beach summer of 2017? Elect this gas bag, hooha. This might be the worst pain I’ve experienced since a bad root canal; but, Hillary is a better choice than this. I didn’t say that! Lord, save us from ourselves.
Enuff said. Thanx for stoppin' in. Rednak Luvs Ya!
The Rednak Chronicles is on sale in the Kindle format. $1.99 Interested? Click here.