Our opinion: The nature business

Our opinion: The nature business

(Photo: Florida State Parks) We’ll admit, Tallahasseeans reflexively get a little nervous when Florida officials start talking about running state government like a business. It’s not a business. There are things in state administration that business can help with, and certainly business efficiencies can improve public services, but making a buck is not what government […]

Friday’s letters: Park funding smoke and mirrors

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection now says that state parks should generate more revenue because its secretary doesn’t want to have to depend on the Legislature for funding. “When you have education and health care clamoring for dollars, I want to be able to handle our business and take care of our own situation,” Jon […]

Don’t change character of state parks

Florida’s parks have been recognized three times — in 1999, 2005 and 2013 — as the nation’s best park system. No other state has earned that many honors. Last year they attracted more than 27 million visitors. But that’s not good enough for Florida officials, who are concerned that too many parks generate insufficient revenues […]

Plan for managing Florida's state parks causes concern

Plan for managing Florida’s state parks causes concern

News-Journal file/Nigel Cook Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, where the manatees are a crowd favorite, actually pulls in more revenues than it costs to run the park, and Florida’s park system overall ranks high nationally in a comparison of revenues vs. expenses. The concept sounded good to some: Make Florida’s state parks pay […]

Another View: Hunting in state parks? No shock, considering track record

Anyone who is shocked by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s proposal to open up state parks to hunting hasn’t been paying attention. After all, this incredibly damaging idea comes from the same administration that: ·Refused to push for land purchases that would help restore water flow to the Everglades. ·Didn’t stand up for voters […]

DEP’s state park revenue push rankles

DEP’s state park revenue push rankles

(Photo: Democrat files) Grand ideas to turn Florida’s state parks into money-makers have come and gone over the years. Water parks, golf courses, swank hotels — such development visions have been floated, then abandoned after public outcry.But a current, more low-key push led by the Department of Environmental Protection’s new Secretary Jon Steverson to allow logging, […]

Petition opposes agricultural expansion for Paynes Prairie

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla – Paynes Prairie may soon expand when it comes to agricultural activities, meant to help the park pay for itself. It’s a concept the Department of Environmental Protection is thinking about. However ne petition opposing the idea, has gained thousands of signatures. The petition is called Paynes Prairie in Danger and it […]

State officials clash with critics over controversial DEP secretary appointment

State officials clash with critics over controversial DEP secretary appointment

by Monivette Cordeiro, Orlando Weekly.Com “Three-time gold medal winner.” Over and over again, Gov. Rick Scott and his cabinet members repeated this phrase during the Tuesday, Aug. 4 state cabinet meeting, boasting about how Florida’s state parks have been recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association. The state park system, which hosts about 27 […]


Marjorie Harris Carr/Paynes Prairie History Bus Tour

October 24, 2015Saturday  10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Matheson History Museum 513 East University Avenue Gainesville, Florida 32601 Map MARJORIE HARRIS CARR/PAYNES PRAIRIE BUS TOUR Saturday, October 24, 2015, 10 a.m.-2:00 p.m., $60 per person (lunch is included) ​Join Lars Andersen and Peggy Macdonald for an immersive tour of Paynes Prairie. Lars Andersen, a full-time river guide for […]