Thursday, January 19, 2012

East Polk Tract Is Nation's Newest Wildlife Refuge

Heritage is something you cannot get away from. For my part, I don't try. My family originally settled Florida in two areas, the panhandle around 1810, where one of my great, great great grandpas was an evangelical minister, and central Florida around 1840, where one was a rancher, preacher and just about anything else you could name. One county in Florida, Hendry, is named after my great, great uncle, Asbury Hendry and I have cousins of the far-reaching kind scattered throughout the state.
The headlines about the nation's newest Wildlife Refuge, a tract of land set aside in Polk County made me very proud to be from the center part of the state.
The road to completion is going to be long and hard thanks to the general miasma which is floating around Tallahassee for conservation lands or spending money to preserve anything. I am glad this is a National Wildlife Refuge and people had the foresight to get this started.
The wild animals and plants which will be able to live here without fear of being displaced is great. Polk County is full of natural lakes, prairie, oak hammocks and all kinds of wondrous areas to wander around in. Much of the county was like that for me growing up.
So from alligators to owls, eagles to tortoises, thanks Polk County. Thanks Senator Bill Nelson. Thanks U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Thanks also to The Nature Conservancy who donated the land.
The basics are in place and the people of Florida will support this despite having a governor and legislators who continue to try and dismantle all the progress we have made in Florida towards conserving our wild and natural places.
Check out the story here.

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