Governor's Decision on Florida Parks Due by Aug. 19

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July 14, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Responding to public outcry, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has put the kibosh on plans to consider bringing privately run, RV-friendly campgrounds to Honeymoon Island State Park and must decide by Aug. 19 what to do in at least three other prime parks, the Florida Independent reported.

A statement from his office also said the state’s park service “will be evaluating how to proceed” with Fanning Springs, DeLeon Springs and Edward Ball Wakulla Springs — the other three parks at the front of the line for expanded camping.

The public outcry over the proposed expansion at Honeymoon Island was louder than at the other parks, and was amplified by local politicians, including Republican lawmakers from around Tampa Bay.

Scott spokesman Lane Wright said there was “no official timeline” as to whether or when Scott would be weighing in on plans for the other parks, other than that he would probably have to do so before the state Acquisition and Restoration Council’s meeting on Aug. 19. If it gets that far, the plan would ultimately have to be cleared by the cabinet.

Scott said he visited Wakulla Springs this weekend, and that he is trying to balance the importance of driving more visitors to the parks with the need to preserve environmentally sensitive lands.

All the same, “We’ve got to listen to the public,” he said. “It’s their parks.”

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