Monday, February 9, 2015

Lucas: Letter to Sarasota Commissioners regarding Pinelands Reserve Shooting Range

Letter from Adrian Lucas to the Board of Sarasota County Commissioners regarding a proposal to use 11 acres of Pineland Reserve for a shooting range. A public hearing will be held Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 at the County Admin Building in Venice, FL:

Sarasota County Commissioners,
Although I believe in my heart this email will fall on blind eyes, I am hopeful tomorrow you will consider not voting in favor of the Comp Plan / Pinelands Reserve's 11 acres being chopped down for a shooting range. We have an accessible, fabulous shooting range in Manatee County; the Manatee Gun and Archery Club, within driving distance for all who live near the Pinelands Reserve and who wish to practice shooting their guns, bows or taking out clay pigeons. An additional shooting range just seems like another unnecessary redundancy and waste of important land when the Manatee G&A is just about an hour's drive away, and a pretty drive at that.

What I DO know is each time Sarasota County commissioners' green lights the continued slicing and gutting of this counties natural assets, it is you, our Commissioners' who are adding additional stress to the wildlife residents of this county. And planet for that matter. Yes you.

We are all in this ecosystem together and each time a swath of land is cut down, any sporting activities, be it hunting, bird watching, butterfly observing, hiking, is being diminished. Not all of us have the luxury to travel to another state to hunt or watch birds and wildlife; we are fortunate as residents of this county to be able to do this. 

The Pineland Reserve is a local treasure as showcased on the Sarasota County website under Pinelands Preserve "Natural Lands" and while there may be 6000 acres, each time you chip away, you chip away the wildlife that lives there. Considering the beautiful pamphlet by Sarasota County showcasing the birds who live there, "Birds of Pinelands Preserve" by eliminating 11 acres to a shooting range, the sound of bullets/noise pollution coupled with the potential lead pollution is a scientifically sound argument that a vote in favor of the shooting range will hurt wildlife in the surrounding preserve.
I won't waste your time with the consideration of privatization of public conservation lands, I know that will fall on deaf ears and with all due respect, I know who your real constituents are, it certainly isn't nature or to an average person of Sarasota. So let's get back to the land, enough of my jabs.

11 acres may not seem like a huge chunk of land to you but in consideration of the wildlife that lives in this Pineland Reserve, it's a huge chunk of land for the species who live there. When Audubon reports for the past 50 years show a massive decline in their annual bird counts and the Monarch butterfly is being considered for addition to the U.S. endangered list, it indicates there is a problem. When the SRQ County pamphlet shows that there are just "limited sightings" of certain birds, some of those birds are shy and difficult to view, however, a large number of the birds on the county list (if not all) are declining in number nationally. And the problem exists from lack of places for these species to live and eat. And the places that do exist for these creatures are being dangerously impaired and harmed by pesticides.

The Pinelands Preserve is an oasis for numerous creatures. We, and you, are responsible to ensure that these species exist for future generations.
If you all continue to chop, hack, slice and dice public conservation lands then you are in deep denial of the legacy you leave for your own children and the people of Sarasota County.


Adrien Lucas

No comments:

Post a Comment