Florida’s Remarkable New Wildlife Corridor from the Panhandle to the Keys

Excerpt from Dexter Filkins:  https://www.newyorker.com/news/us-journal/floridas-remarkable-new-wildlife-corridor-from-the-panhandle-to-the-keys?fbclid=IwAR2pFTlnOF2kN9L2ZtKf0dbSdxgsU3hXV0jS9xYy93mF8-my3T1C1aumGCE

his week, Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who is known nationally for his unstinting impersonation of the state’s most famous new resident, signed into law a remarkable piece of environmental legislation that could become a model for the rest of the country. The project will establish the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a blueprint for the state to connect all of its large national and state parks with tracts of open land. The corridor, once complete, would create an unbroken swath of preserved land from the Alabama state line all the way to the Florida Keys, nearly eight hundred miles away. It would insure that a population of wildlife—whether it be black bears or panthers or gopher tortoises—would not be cut off from other groups of its species, which is one of the main drivers of extinction.

The legislation, passed unanimously by the Republican-controlled legislature, commits the state to spending as much as four hundred million dollars in the first year to purchase land identified in the corridor map. Backers say they hope the state will continue funding the project in the years ahead. For now, they are savoring their victory, which they say will help safeguard the environment for future generations. “We’re in a race against time,’’ Carlton Ward, Jr., a Tampa-based conservation photographer who is one of the leading proponents of the corridor, said. “In ten years, if we don’t act, most of this land will be gone.”

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