From the Apalachicola Times:
The Florida Green Guide Association commends the Franklin County commissioners for their recent decision to go on record opposing the request for expansion of the lime rock mine north of Carrabelle.
With every passing day, it becomes more apparent that the economic well-being and the health of our citizens in Franklin County are tied to the preservation of our natural resources. In addition, the health of the business community becomes more and more dependent on our visitors to the county.
Recently I overheard a conversation between three visitors from out-of-state. They were thrilled to get a glimpse of a wild bear. To many of us this is a common occurrence, but to these visitors it was a unique experience which they will share with friends and neighbors back in their home state. This will encourage others to visit our unique county.
As you know our county is second only to Monroe County in the areas dedicated to conservation. These include:
- Apalachicola National Forest/Wildlife Management Area. Florida’s largest forest
- Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park
- Bald Point State Park
- St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge
- Tate’s Hello State Forest/ Wildlife Management Area
The management and conservation of these resources draw visitors and provide many jobs for our citizens. In addition, these forest and parks are instrumental in preserving our rivers and bays and the fisheries they provide. Not to mention their contribution to a quality freshwater supply for ourselves and our children.
The stewardship of these forests is a great responsibility. We thank the commissioners for their watchfulness and their efforts to preserve our jobs, our health and our quality of life in Franklin County. Indeed, their efforts to conserve these resources extend far beyond the borders of Franklin County. They encourage other city, county and state leaders to follow the example they have set.
As a state with 20 million people, the commission’s job has never been easy and it will not become easier in the future. So, we wanted the commissioners to know, we appreciate them “standing by their guns”. Rest assured, the many Green Guides, Florida Master Naturalists, and the thousands of conservation minded citizens of Franklin stand with them.
Chester A. Butler III
Florida Green Guide Association