People interested in protecting Florida’s heartland from more urban sprawl and keeping essential wildlife habitat as roadless as possible will be tuning in for Tuesday’s online meeting of the task forces studying three proposed new toll roads through rural sections of Florida from the Everglades to the Georgia border.
The online meetings were set up to follow the coronavirus health guidelines to avoid mass gatherings.
We’ll give you a follow-up of the results later this week.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in decisions to close many natural areas at a time when people need the balm of a quiet outdoor experience to help them to get through this stressful time.
The latest decision came from the South Florida Water Management District, which closed its outdoor recreation areas Tuesday.
This follows a decision to close all of the state parks and many beaches and city and county parks and environmental preserves.
For the moment, state and national forests, national wildlife refuges and most other recreation lands managed by the other water management districts remain open along with wildlife management areas overseen by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission though visitor centers and administrative offices are closed to the public St. Johns River Water Management District has closed the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive temporarily
This is ironic because Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home order specifically exempts hiking, hunting, fishing and boating as long as you observe the important social-distancing recommendations.
Perhaps public input can persuade officials to modify the restrictions in ways that can provide outdoor recreation opportunities without threatening public health.
We’ll see. Stay healthy.