June 3, 2012 – SCR e-News Release
Rather than process the three petitions to amend the cooperative agreement as requested, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) quietly pulled the old agreement and replaced it with a different one less than 2 weeks after receiving the City, County and SCR petitions.
USFWS and FWC quietly executed the new Cooperative Agreement on May 14, 2012 – 11 days after receiving SCR’s petition on May 3. FWC then seemed to have wasted taxpayer money and time preparing denials of the three petitions and waited to mail them on May 30th.
Citrus County, City of Crystal River and Save Crystal River, Inc. by unanimous votes each, sent in an identical Petition to Amend the Cooperative Agreement at the end of April and first week in May, 2012. See Citrus County BOCC hearing video below.
But, all three petitions had been effectively voided on May 14 when FWC and USFWS replaced the old agreement with a new one. Why voided? Because there is no such thing as appealing the denial of a petition to amend an agreement which no longer existed as of that date.
USFWS once again seems to have dominated the lop-sided agreement, and it’s now business as usual. There is no discernable difference in the old and new agreement with only one apparent exception – The new agreement makes it clear that Florida has given up the authority to issue permits for “incidental take”.
For example; Giving up the authority to issue permits for boat access points – ramps, docks and marinas. SCR questions how this is going to affect new shipping facilities, such as the local studies on a “Port Citrus”. And, we already point out the dampening effect on Florida’s boating and recreational fishing economy here.
Video – Citrus County BOCC hearings unanimously passing their Petition