To Become an IRAS Group E-mail List Member
Chapter of FNPS Meeting Oct. 4
Trip Coordinator Needed
Program and Field Trip Schedule
The older I get, the less I like surprises. When I was younger,
I think I looked forward to surprises. At the present, I kind of
dread them. Let me give you an example.
Earlier in the summer, an announcement appeared in the newspaper
of the remarkable progress being made on construction of the Education
Pavilion at the Enchanted Forest. You’ll recall that the Enchanted
Forest was the first property acquired under the Brevard County’s
Environmentally Endangered Lands program. This little bit of heaven
is unique to say the least. It is where the plants of the temperate
climate overlap the plants of the subtropics providing a truly unique
habitat. When this exceptional mixture of plants was acquired by
the ELL program, spending taxpayers’ money with your consent,
it was the general understanding that it would be protected forever.
Quoting from the ELL mission statement, “The EEL Program protects
the rich biological diversity of Brevard County for future generations.”
The emphasis is mine.
Two weeks later I hear that the TICO airport folk want to cut
down the trees in the Enchanted Forest. Now that was a surprise!
What do you suppose harming the trees in the Enchanted Forest would
do to the unique mixture of plants being preserved there? It made
me wonder what part of forever the airport folk did not understand.
I have since learned that there was such a public outcry that the
airport folk may find other ways of carrying on their dealings without
disturbing the Enchanted Forest. Chalk up one for citizens’
getting involved, but keep your eyes peeled. Nowadays, hardly anything
I would also like to call your attention to an opportunity that
does not come along everyday. The National Audubon Society is currently
seeking nominations for the Federal Land & Water Conservation
Fund (LWCF) priorities for the next Fiscal Year (FY04). Land acquisition
funding for federal lands is a critical component of preserving
valuable wildlife areas and protecting threatened and fragile ecosystems.
Congress established the LWCF in 1964. The $900 million deposited
into the Fund each year is derived primarily from off-shore drilling
royalties. Each year, Audubon submits to the U.S. Congress a list
of priority sites in need of LWCF funding. Our lobbyists and grassroots
advocates actively work with Congress each year to see that they
fund a majority, if not all, of these priority sites. We have until
October 25 to file a nomination. There is no reason that some of
this money can’t come to central Florida. Let me know if you
have a site in mind, or if you would like to help complete the application.
After Doug Stuckey’s heart-felt piece on cats running loose
in wildlife areas published in last month’s Limpkin, we bird
lovers should be concerned about Brevard County’s public hearings
on the feral cat problem. As I understand it the County is spending
(or proposes to spend) your tax dollars to continue to have feral
cats running loose. I can’t believe that there are people
who won’t see the danger to bird and animal life that cats
pose when they are allowed to run loose. I have been informed that
the “cat people” out numbered the “wildlife”
people at the most recent hearing. There will be two public hearings
in October, on the 8th in Titusville, and on the 9th at the Central
Library in Cocoa beginning at 6:00 p.m. I urge everyone of you who
loves birds to be at one or both of these public hearings. Don Garettson
is our representative to the county committee.
I’d like to close on an up-beat note. I hope that you are
as excited as I am about our new education program headed by Julie
Seberry and Barbara Venuto. Your chapter is donating two magnificent
books, Florida’s Fabulous Birds and Florida’s Fabulous
Waterbirds, Winston Williams, World Publication, 2001, to every
elementary school in Brevard County. The books will be placed in
the Libraries of each school. To call attention to the books, the
Education Committee will be sponsoring a poster contest in grades
1 through 4 with prizes throughout the year. Thus, the educational
mission of Audubon will be carried out here in our home area. Please
consider making a donation to your chapter to defray the cost of
this ambitious program.
Thank you for your continued efforts to provide our bird friends
a place to live. Happy birding.