Monday, August 24, 2015

Sarasota County Opens Door to Hunting on Public Lands

SARASOTA - A new ordinance will pave the way for people to use publicly owned preserves in Sarasota County to hunt for animals such as deer, hogs and coyotes.



Although Sarasota County commissioners voted Monday to approve hunting on public lands, before anyone can do so, the county must also publicly approve the activity for each property on a case-by-case basis. The areas mostly likely to be opened for hunters are located in the rural areas east of Interstate 75. Expect a similar debate when individual properties come up for a vote.
Through a 4-1 vote, Sarasota County commissioners approved a broad new policy on Monday that opens the door for hunting on certain county-owned property — including land purchased through a special tax approved by voters to protect environmentally sensitive land and wildlife.
The measure, which drew wide support from avid hunters and equally forceful criticism from environmentalists, lifts a longstanding ban on hunting at public recreation areas, natural areas and beach parks.
Opponents cited safety concerns and strict language in the conservation program used to buy much of the forestry in question, which they argued was drafted specifically to prevent this type of activity.
But the commission — mostly gun-supporters and hunters themselves — sided with the advocates who said more hunting opportunities would benefit the general public.  MORE . . .

"Part of NRA’s mission is to promote and defend hunting as a shooting sport and as a viable and necessary method of fostering the propagation, growth, and conservation, and wise use of our renewable wildlife resources."  Interested Parties.

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