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Panther/Cougar meeting update.

binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,797 Admiral
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article25369612.html

BY JENNY STALETOVICH
[email protected]


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A controversial proposal to scale back conservation plans for the endangered Florida panther is back on the drawing table.

On Tuesday, following five hours of public comments, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation commissioners agreed to rework the plan after Commissioner Ron Bergeron raised objections.

Saying the agency needs to be “better stewards,” the two-term commissioner said he could not vote for the plan.

“We have to keep the same level of protection of the panther until … we are very, very comfortable,” Bergeron said.

The policy, drafted by Commissioner Liesa Priddy, a rancher, and Executive Director Nick Wiley, alarmed conservationists by suggesting that state efforts need to shift from expanding the population to maintaining one that could “co-exist” in fast-growing Southwest Florida. Once numbering just 20 to 30, panthers have rebounded to a population estimated at between 100 and 180.

The increase has led to a record number of road kills. Ranchers and hunters complain that panthers also are preying on more livestock and deer, a sign they are outgrowing their territory.

A federal recovery plan drafted in 2008 calls for three distinct populations of 240 panthers, including two north of the Caloosahatchee River, before the cats can be removed from the endangered species list. But in their memo, Priddy and Wiley called the plan “aspirational rather than practical” and said the state should stop supporting efforts to expand the panther north until federal officials figure out the locations of future populations and overcome opposition from local landowners.

Priddy said she does not want the cat removed from the endangered species list and Tuesday warned a crowded room at the Sarasota Hyatt Regency, “You’re reading way more into this policy that is there.”

But conservationists worried that reducing conservation measures effectively speeds up removing protections.

The plan “attempts to redefine recovery in terms of social tolerance rather than biology,” complained Laurie MacDonald, a Florida program director for Defenders of Wildlife, who said the population “has not reached interim goals much less recovery goals.”

As the number of panthers increased, wildlife officials have increasingly wrestled with how to deal with encounters with humans — what the agency calls “conflict management.” Since 2004, 106 hobby livestock or pets and 34 calves have been killed by panthers. That number could be much higher since panthers tend to hide their kill so they can feed for days, explained Kipp Frohlich, deputy director of the agency’s division of Habitat and Species Conservation.

“What is a sustainable co-existence?” he asked. “It’s a hard question. It’s a policy question.”

Bergeron, as well as conservationists, say the answer may lie in spending money from Amendment 1, a constitutional measure overwhelmingly passed by voters in November to buy sensitive land, on panther habitat. Bergeron also said historic panther habitat in the central Everglades has been flooded by restoration efforts and more needs to be done to manage the land for panthers.

“From 2000 to 2014, not one panther has entered that area and that’s because of the water levels,” he said. “There’s another million acres that needs to be managed correctly.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article25369612.html#storylink=cpy

Replies

  • RexLanRexLan Posts: 868 Officer
    Ron Bergeron .....?
    Port Charlotte, Florida
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,334 Captain
    Guy is to worried about being conservationist of the year again and not protecting all animals and not just one .
    living life as i like
  • floridacrackrfloridacrackr Posts: 603 Officer
    Guy is to worried about being conservationist of the year again and not protecting all animals and not just one .

    I think his views are more in line with protecting land rather than animals. There are a lot of state lands that could house cats that don't because of many issues but mainly water levels. If you want to save an animal you have to save his home...NWTF's main initiative now.."Save the Habitat Save the Hunt".
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,334 Captain
    I think his views are more in line with protecting land rather than animals. There are a lot of state lands that could house cats that don't because of many issues but mainly water levels. If you want to save an animal you have to save his home...NWTF's main initiative now.."Save the Habitat Save the Hunt".

    If he would be truly into saving them he would be first one to start to move females north of the rivers . And yet not a word from the commission on that point because the don't want any back lash from the big land owners . Sorry but it is what it is .
    living life as i like
  • floridacrackrfloridacrackr Posts: 603 Officer
    If he would be truly into saving them he would be first one to start to move females north of the rivers . And yet not a word from the commission on that point because the don't want any back lash from the big land owners . Sorry but it is what it is .

    I'm not going to argue with you over it. I'm just trying to help you understand his way of thinking. Whether you or I agree with it is not important. He doesn't look at saving a specific species, he looks at saving their environment. He has created his own environment that gives him false assumptions of the the way things may really be and I am constantly tying to keep him grounded with reality away from his oasis of GGW. He honestly means well and doesn't make decisions based on personal gain. I honestly dont care if you or anyone else don't agree with him..heck, I don't agree with him a lot of the times, but just be respectful and speak with facts about someone and not judgments or opinions.
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,334 Captain
    I'm not going to argue with you over it. I'm just trying to help you understand his way of thinking. Whether you or I agree with it is not important. He doesn't look at saving a specific species, he looks at saving their environment. He has created his own environment that gives him false assumptions of the the way things may really be and I am constantly tying to keep him grounded with reality away from his oasis of GGW. He honestly means well and doesn't make decisions based on personal gain. I honestly dont care if you or anyone else don't agree with him..heck, I don't agree with him a lot of the times, but just be respectful and speak with facts about someone and not judgments or opinions.

    I AGREE WITH YOU ON THIS but that is a problem with him not seeing the way everything out side of his box . Im not trying to bash the guy but just stating how I feel about it .
    living life as i like
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,138 Captain
    Alligator Ron is so rich he doesn't have to worry about what people think of him.....Like Floridacracker, I respect him even though he can be exasperating at times.....he is honest and simply has his on beliefs...and Yes...they are clouded by his Disney like ranch. Commissioner Priddy is much more practical and represents the true perspective of a working rancher. Bergeron has three giant Hummers....one in camo......one black with gold trim....one gold with black trim.....He is a true character!
  • RexLanRexLan Posts: 868 Officer
    N. Cook wrote: »
    Alligator Ron is so rich he doesn't have to worry about what people think of him.....Like Floridacracker, I respect him even though he can be exasperating at times.....he is honest and simply has his on beliefs...and Yes...they are clouded by his Disney like ranch. Commissioner Priddy is much more practical and represents the true perspective of a working rancher. Bergeron has three giant Hummers....one in camo......one black with gold trim....one gold with black trim.....He is a true character!

    He didn't impress me as very interested or engaged. Unfortunate that political appointments are just that instead of putting folks in position who are practical which does not mean that hunting wins every time but a little more balance perhaps.
    Port Charlotte, Florida
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,797 Admiral
    All of the above still does not help me or the rest of the people understand why he did not vote in favor of a bear hunt. IMO it has very little to do w the Cougar issue. Yes, the loss of the habitat in the glades has very well indeed effected the habitat it once roamed,but that is neither here nor there when it comes to restoring one management tool in the shed.

    Pretty much everyone including the whackos has admitted that the Bears and Cougars are over carrying capacity in some places and have suggested alternate non feasible non productive means to deal w them other than hunting.

    Ron's very own Constituent Mrs priddy has given nothing but an open door policy on her land with regards to predator issues. Maybe GGW should get high fenced with an over abundance of bears and Cougars and well see how he feels about it in a yr from now. The rest of the area could use the relief.

    A lot of people are very disappointed in the fact whackos now use him as a tool to argue in defense of opening a season.
  • marshnole11marshnole11 Posts: 169 Deckhand
    Bergeron is just another rich out of touch with reality dooshbag who has no business being a commissioner of anything.

    Dude doesn't represent me or any other Florida public land hunter.
  • davidfloridadavidflorida Posts: 1,120 Officer
    If we don't have the land we got squat, I we don't have the water squat. Any volunteers to move . No easy answers.
    If you can't hear it your not listening.
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,607 Captain
    I applaud what Commissioner Bergeron said about Amendment 1.He's ahead of the curve.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
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