Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Comments to UWFWS – opposing the “Habitat Conservation Plan” (HCP)

Posted: 1 December 2018. Updated: 3 December 2018

URGENT ACTION TO HELP FLORIDA PANTHERS! The inaptly named Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) would see 45,000 acres, just north of the Everglades, developed and mined, and the introduction of an urban area the size of Washington DC. Impacting on essential panther habitat, the HCP will also affect other protected species including sandhill cranes, gopher tortoises, and burrowing owls, among others.

Tell the US Fish and Wildlife Service TODAY, and by tomorrow December 3rd when public comment ends, to protect Florida wildlands and DENY the Habitat Conservation Plan.

A copy of ADI’s comments is available here.

Please feel free to use the following letter to comment here. Click blue comment button located at top right of the page.

David Dell
David Dell, Regional HCP Coordinator
Attn: ECPO; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 1875 Century Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30345

Dr. Constance Cassler
Supervisory Fish and Wildlife Biologist
South Florida Ecological Services Office,
Attn: ECPO; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960


RE: FWS–R4–ES–2018-0079-0001
Eastern Collier Property Owners, LLC, Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan and
Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Collier County, Florida

Mr. Dell and Dr. Cassler:
I write in opposition to the proposed Eastern Collier Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS).

There is widespread public support for the Endangered Species Act and the species it protects, including those likely to be negatively impacted by the HCP - panthers, gopher tortoises, sandhill cranes, and burrowing owls, among others.

Given the current and widespread environmental concerns in the state presently, directly related to the sensitive lands and waters in and around the Everglades, this is the absolute wrong time to introduce a new urban area the size of Washington DC into that ecosystem. The HCP will bring 300,000 new residents and require >200 miles of taxpayer-funded roadways, without consideration of panther roadkills from the additional 1million vehicle trips/day. This rural, agricultural, and prime wildlife habitat just north of the Everglades, includes about ~20,000 acres of “Primary Zone” habitat, which the best available science deems essential to panther survival.

The HCP does not adequately consider, address, or alleviate known threats to this fragile ecosystem, which will only increase in the coming years, as it faces expanding human population and development, and the challenges of climate change. The HCP is not consistent with the best available science or the Endangered Species Act.

Give Florida wildlands and its precious wildlife a fighting chance - deny the HCP.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.

Yours truly,

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