Who speaks for the trees?

Letter to the Editor

Posted 10/31/22

Please update the Citizens of Okeechobee on our concerns regarding the removal of all palm trees from Lake Okeechobee’s rim canal systems.

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Who speaks for the trees?

Letter to the Editor

Posted

Please update the Citizens of Okeechobee on our concerns regarding the removal of all palm trees from Lake Okeechobee’s rim canal systems. The first project is the C/L 47 which is a 28-mile canal from Nubbin Slough/Tayor Creek pump house South to Myakka Bridge. US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) plans on continuing the removal of ALL palm trees around the entire lake. Buckhead Ridge is on the project list. 

Thus far 800+ palm trees have been removed. This senseless destruction will continue, both lake side and canal side. Presently, the destruction is at the JJ Fish Camp, working north and south. USACE is replacing the palm Ttee root holes with shell rock/concrete mix. An inspection of these areas reveals that instead of having a beautiful palm tree, the 800+ bald ground spots have been taken over by fire ants burrowing their way through the shell rock/concrete mix. There are many areas where the trees were removed, and erosion of the banks is rapidly increasing.  

The entire area of Okeechobee will be affected environmentally and the habitat that depends on this area will forever be changed.  

The below list are some of our governmental assets that will not go as far as asking USACE for their justification on this continuing environmental disaster: Governor DeSantis,  Department of Environmental and Global Health, Okeechobee County Commissioners, Congressmen, Senators, EPA complaint, SFWMD Commissioners…. 

These “environmental” groups did not reply after several attempts:  Audubon Society, Audubon Everglades, 1000 Friends of Florida, Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, Florida Defenders of the Environment…. 

Citizens of Okeechobee County, and those counties that will soon be affected, please, contact your governmental representatives and ask the question, “Why are you not stopping this destruction of our environment?” Because the land is managed by USACE, is not a good answer. USACE has demonstrated for years that they are not the best stewards for environmental protection. 

Margie Duttenhoeffer

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