DeSantis’ State Of The State Green Claims Fall Short

It took a while sitting through Gov. Ron DeSantis’ typical whiny list of his culture war grudges in this week’s State of the State address to state leaders before the environment rated a mention.

His comments, of course, didn’t last long, left out some key facts and ended on a troublesome note.

Yes, thanks to federal funding assistance, Florida will spend $5 billion on what passes for Everglades restoration projects and another $1 billion or so for other conservation and water-quality projects.

There is no mention of the $18 billion or so he and his allies in the Florida Legislature left on the table by ignoring the public’s support for a 2014 constitutional amendment that they worked hard to quash in court to prevent the restart Florida’s ambitious land-acquisition program.

There was no mention of the fact that he appointed a panel of experts to devise solutions to the pollution discharges that were fueling blue-green algae outbreaks and then ignored their recommendations.

There was no mention of the ongoing efforts by legislators with his support to continue to weaken any vestiges of growth management in an increasingly overcrowded state that DeSantis incorrectly describes as the nation’s third largest state. The facts are worse. Florida is the 22nd largest state in the nation, but the third most populous, which is at the root of the problem. Add to that the efforts by DeSantis and his allies to make it even more crowded and to suppress efforts by local officials to do otherwise and any Tallahassee greenwashing fades quickly.

His wrap up comments referred to unnamed people who want to take away the right to hunt and fish even though no such movement with any political support exists.

That leads to the question of whether that pronouncement was about something else.

The right to hunt and fish is already contained in state law and the regulations for doing so sustainability are contained in rules promulgated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

However, there is a National Rifle Association-backed proposed constitutional amendment to the Florida Constitution headed for this year’s ballot that would put the right to hunt and fish into the Florida Constitution and further declare that hunting and fishing are the supreme methods of wildlife management in Florida.

Critics have expressed concern that the passage of this amendment could mean creating an open season on bear hunting, undoing the commercial net ban and endangering private property rights.

Whether DeSantis’ comments means he is endorsing this amendment is something to watch.


Posted in Group Conservation Issues.