Tampa Bay Times: Feds warn Collier County that land-use votes that harm panthers may violate law

An exciting move by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has resulted in a written warning sent to Collier County officials stating that recent land-use approvals may be violating federal law. Two species, the Florida panther and the red-cockaded woopecker, are both listed under the Endangered Species Act and have been found to inhabit the 1,100 acres of land where approval has recently been given to landowners to clear land, cut timber, extend a road, and pursue plans for a rock mining operation. Follow the story, by the Tampa Bay Times, here.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/wildlife/feds-warn-florida-county-that-land-use-votes-that-harm-panthers-may/2137857

Florida panther (Tampa Bay Times)

OIL WELL PROPOSED TO BE DRILLED LESS THAN ONE MILE FROM THE FLORIDA PANTHER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

A COMPANY FROM LOS ANGELES HAS INVESTED millions of dollars in Southwest Florida mineral wells in the last six years, leading the way in reviving a local oil industry that dates back to the 1940s.
After years of steady production that peaked in 1978, production slid down along with oil prices. It came to almost a standstill in the mid 2000s.
As the cost of petroleum rose and new technology allowed for more accurate drilling, industry executives say, at least half a dozen oil companies have been issued permits in the region. Old wells are being tapped and new drilling has begun.

Original Article

Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge comment letter

FP224 HAS SECOND SURGERY TO REPAIR REFRACTURED LEG

A young Florida panther is recuperating after successful surgery on June 7 at UF’s Small Animal Hospital to repair a fractured right femur. The panther’s injury was likely caused by having been hit by a car in Collier County in May. It had received surgery previously and was recuperating at White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Fla. when it reinjured itself.

Original Article