Downlisted from "Endangered" to "Threatened".
Unfortunately, this does Nothing about how the Feds, (USFWS) classify Manatees, nor will any Manatee zones be removed!
BUT, it's step in the right direction!! This decision was made by SCIENTISTS from the state of FLORIDA, not lawyers for the $MC! Now we have to convince the USFWS that the Manatee are doing just fine!
Today is a good day, especially that Al-Zarqawi got WHACKED! Good Job US Military!!
Last edited by Dean Ferry; 06-08-2006 at 07:06 AM.
One more and that will be a hat-trick.
Maybe Bill Hionas will end up in jail today too
Good news all around
having a barbecue this weekend Dean??
Chesapeake Bay Powerboat Association
The effects may not be many nor immediate, but this is a huge step in the right direction!
WE WON ONE!!!
We haven't won the war, but finally at least a battle.
Gotta start somewhere
manatee article in the local RAG newpaper. The $MC are ready spreading propaganda on how this going to the demise of the Manatee!
Manatees lose some protection
Sea cows now considered threatened
BY JIM WAYMER
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's meeting continues at 8:30 a.m. today in the West Palm Beach Marriott, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.
Topics include how Florida lists the manatee and other protected species. Call 850-488-6411.
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Manatees lost a little luster Wednesday among Florida's most revered critters.
State wildlife officials dropped them one rung on Florida's list of protected species, reclassifying them from "endangered" to "threatened."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's unanimous vote came after about 60 people spoke in the debate during the commission's meeting in West Palm Beach.
Environmental groups fear the new listing, which would take effect in about a year, could relax dock permitting and boating rules. It also might lower the manatee's status on the federal endangered species list.
But sport fishing and marine
interests touted the commission's decision as better science and a reflection of manatees' robust numbers in recent years.
"This is the first time we have truly applied scientific principles to the imperiled species listing process in Florida," said Steven Webster, executive director of Florida Marine Contractors Association and a Merritt Island resident.
"What we've done here could very well affect how the federal government lists manatees," Webster said.
The move comes after five years of debate and after the Coastal Conservation Association, a saltwater sport fishing group, petitioned the state to review sea cows' status.
The most recent statewide manatee count, in February, recorded 3,113 manatees, up from 1,267 in 1991, the first year the state began doing a thorough census of the species.
"It's not at the brink of extinction based on the biology," said Willie Puz, spokesman for the commission.
"Threatened" status won't immediately effect the federal "endangered" listing or erase existing state protections, state officials assured. However, the commission staff must write a new management plan to protect the species.
"That's where we will be looking to our state agency partners, and we'll be looking to the public to help develop those protections," Puz said.
The West Indian manatee was first federally listed on March 11, 1967.
Last week, 17 environmental groups filed a petition with the state to list species more on a case-by-case basis, by each species' specific characteristics and habitat threats, rather than by using the same population criteria for each species.
They fear the manatee's status change could ultimately scale back or undo slow-speed boating zones that took effect in recent years, including ones in the Indian River Lagoon Brevard County.
"That management plan is probably going to end up a paper tiger," said Pat Rose, a lobbyist with Save the Manatee Club, a nonprofit group based in Maitland. "They'll be rolling back speed zones and other manatee protections."
Commissioners also moved ahead Wednesday with upgrading the gopher tortoise and Panama City crayfish from "of special concern" to "threatened" and dropping the bald eagle from the list completely.
What a shame that an organization dedicated to saving the manatee has managed to turn so many into manatee haters.
To them there is no compromise. They just don't get it.
Hopefully this ruling will start a shift towards rational science and maybe we can get some of our waterways back.
WSJ reporter Karp (Fountain Cig dealer) will be crying over this decision!
I'm relatively new to FL and I can respect the wildlife. But, all these "speed zones" are a joke! It's amazing to me that people actually believe that slowing boats down to 25 MPH really helps things. I can barely stay on plane at 25 MPH! Watch out Manatees, I'm ridin' LOW now! However, get that baby to 40 or 50 MPH and I'm drawing half as much (or even less)! And the wake is much less going faster... Go figure....
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