Florida wildlife parks to close due to climate change
By JOSEPH WOODS, AP Florida is preparing to shutter nearly all of its native wildlife parks after the state’s environmental protection laws took effect in July.
The state’s parks department says it plans to close all of the state parks and preserves in Florida by the end of this year, except for the Big Cypress Preserve in Tallahassee.
It’s one of more than 1,000 protected areas around the state, and the Big Wood Preserve is one of the few that has been managed by the state.
The conservation group Florida Wild Foundation has warned that the state could have a hard time recovering if the law is repealed.
Wildlife advocates say the law has made it nearly impossible to protect the state ecosystem from climate change, especially when the area is located near one of Florida’s most active spring-fed waterfalls.
State and federal officials have defended the law, saying it’s not a government takeover of natural resources, but the protection of natural habitats.
They say the state has the resources to protect its forests and waterways from development.