Land Advocates and Drivers Reach Fork in the Off-Road

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by talison79, Mar 24, 2002.

  1. talison79

    talison79 1/2 ton status

    Feb 25, 2000
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    Tucker, Georgia
    March 24, 2002
    Land Advocates and Drivers Reach Fork in the Off-Road


    IG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla., March 22 — An avid outdoorsman, Lyle McCandless likes to spend his weekends here in the southwest Florida back country hunting for small game and fishing for large-mouth bass.
    But in recent years, people who enjoy the land like Mr. McCandless have come under intense criticism from environmentalists, who say they are abusing the Big Cypress National Preserve and public wilderness areas throughout the country. That is because to get to the best hunting sites and fishing holes, Mr. McCandless and his buddies from the Collier County Sportsman's Club near Naples drive their off-road vehicles into the most remote sections of this 729,000-acre preserve, a vast undeveloped area of wetlands, cypress groves and protected wildlife.
    Environmental groups contend that the squat, fat-tired all-terrain vehicles are damaging wetlands and wildlife by creating thousands of miles of deep ruts in the soil. The tracks in Big Cypress are so extensive that, from the air, the preserve looks as though someone has dropped thousands of giant strands of spaghetti on the land.
    More than merely causing aesthetic damage, the environmentalists say, the tire tracks have damaged soil, water and vegetation and changed the habitat of endangered species like the Florida panther and the Cape Sable seaside sparrow.
    In an effort to stop the damage, the groups have sought to limit or eliminate the use of all-terrain vehicles, swamp buggies and other off-road transportation in the preserve, which is 50 miles east of Naples and borders Everglades National Park.....


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