Dedicated to the protection of birds, other animals, and their habitats through education and activism
Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170; president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org
We litigated this in 2013 when citizens pressed a proposal to city governments and the County Council to provide proclamations in support of Off-Highway vehicles in Tiger Bay State Forest. The local cities did endorse the proposal, but the County Council wisely took the advice of their staff and the state Forest Service to deny such a proclamation.
The Forest is comprised of 60% wetlands and over 800 acres of sensitive scrub habitat. The Forest Service spoke before the cCounty Council and stated that: "Based on our assessment of resources on TBSF, input from the TBSF Liaison Group, the TBSF 10-year Resource Management Plan, and first-hand experience and knowledge of OHV programs, the FFS does not support OHV trails as a compatible use at this location."
But now, Rep Dwayne Taylor of Daytona Beach filed HB-419 to not only allow OHV use in the forest but also to set aside up to 10% of the area for the exclusive use of the OHV community.
Please contact Rep Taylor and tell him that the Tiger Bay State Forest is too sensitive for OHV use. You can use the following talking points provided by Paula Wehr, President of the Halifax River Audubon:
• There are currently 52 miles of roads available and open to the public for access by ‘street-legal’ vehicles.
• Tiger Bay State Forest (TBSF) is comprised of 60% wetlands and over 800 acres of the sensitive scrub ecosystem.
• There are no areas of disturbed ground appropriate for the type of exclusive OHV use called for in Section 1, Paragraph 2 of the bill.
• A visitor to TBSF can easily see how the on-going rainy season has impacted the road system and ground conditions on the state forest. The current conditions are visible illustration of how sensitive the roads and ground condition are to existing levels of vehicle impacts.
In November, Florida 75% of Florida voters voted YES to Amendment 1. The destruction of lands currently protecting or most valuable resources was not intended.
He can be contacted at his State House office at (850) 717-5026 and at his District Office at (386) 239-6202.
Alternatively, email him at email@example.com
The Florida Forest Service is in the best position to manage this resource and they should not be over-ruled in this case.