Should our state parks be about preserving and experiencing natural Florida?
Or should each of this state’s more than 160 parks become self-sustaining businesses, even if that means opening up pristine lands to hunting, cattle grazing or logging?
This debate, which has been simmering for more than year, just intensified as Gov. Rick Scott and company prepare to install new leadership over the state park service.
DEP Secretary Jon Steverson, who has said he wants to wring more dollars out of parks, reassigned Donald Forgione to manage Paynes Prairie State Park near Gainesville.
Forgione was appointed as the director of state parks in 2010, after climbing the ranks over three decades all the way from park ranger.
Whoever takes his place will send a message about Scott and Steverson’s plans for the park system. […]