Victory

Victory

DSC_0044.jpg

Loggerhead  turtles hanging on the back of a truck waiting to be returned to the ocean after their rehab at Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno, Florida.

Over 30 years ago, long-time Juno Beach resident Eleanor Fletcher started what is now Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Eleanor and her husband Robert had a real estate business in Juno Beach. Eleanor began to notice there were many  sea turtles nesting on the shore in spring and summer. She was curious about why so many hatchings headed landward after hatching, rather than back to sea, and as a result, began some of the earliest research on sea turtles in our area.

As she learned more and more about the sea turtles, she began to see that the turtles were threatened by the encroachment of man as he moved and built closer and closer to the shoreline. She decided that educating children about the sea turtles and the need for conservation and protection was the best hope for the sea turtles to survive over the long term. She began giving classes, first in her home, then above the real estate office as more and more children enjoyed her programs.

In April 2007, the organization relocated to a new 12,000 square foot certified “green” facility and changed its name to Loggerhead Marinelife Center. The new facility includes a state-of-the-art full service veterinary hospital, exhibit hall, outdoor classroom, research lab, and resource center.  They have an awesome gift shop. I usually go there this time of year to buy ocean related child books for my nieces and this year for my grandson.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit education and ocean conservation facility located on the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach County, Florida. The facility houses a variety of exhibits, live sea turtles and other coastal creatures. Exhibits include a massive prehistoric Archelon sea turtle replica, salt water aquaria and displays of local wildlife, as well as educational displays about South Florida’s marine environment.”

I included the photo above and some video in my multi award winning documentary film “The Garbage of Jupiter Beach” because these gentle giants often come with plastic bags in their guts, or filled with fishing line or some other garbage people have thrown in the ocean. So before you liter please put these guys in your head and understand the damage that can be done.

Here are photos from the last time I was there last year.

You can go here and see whose in the hospital now.

This is wonderful place to support. I am looking forward to the day I can take my Grandson Ethan.

Advertisements

Stop the bear hunt, save the panthers. manatee’s you’re next. SOS SOS Please help us! save our Florida!

It’s never too early to start thinking about who we  need for Governor and we need to start doing this right now. We simply will not survive any of Rick Scott’s cronies and I’m sure he’s got his own people up his nasty evil sleeves to pass on this murderous deregulation.

I’ve been told the end game is total deregulation so polluters can pollute and builders can build where ever they want. I see it going on here even in Martin County where this guy wants to build these really ugly places where you have your business downstairs and you live upstairs. The location is right near our beautiful greenway and Haney Creek.

This is not the Martin County I moved to. The one I moved too had a clean lagoon, lots and lots and lots of green. The old road near my house was upgraded to a pretty road with little circles just ripe for a developer to build what ever he wants and the sewage lines are not moved up near the lagoon where we could all hook up but close enough for developers to develop.

I read on twitter last week that the most protected animal in Florida was the developer.

But  right now I want to talk about black bears.

We used to have black bears here on Hutchinson Island. My friend, fellow wordpress blogger and future Martin County Commissioner wrote a blog about it.

http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/02/25/black-bears-of-hutchinson-island-our-wild-past/

“According  to historian Alice Luckhart, the black bear population on Hutchinson Island was completely wiped out by about 1930.  (http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/feb/03/historical-vignettes-when-bears-roamed-hutchinson-/)

Before modern man came and planted bean fields and produced honey, the bears ate turtle eggs, palmetto berries and the riches of the Indian River Lagoon and St Lucie River. But they they became a problem, so we “wiped them out.”

We wiped them out.

We must stop wiping things out.

must.

We must live in the sunshine. We live in the sunshine state but do not have sunshine. Only evil darkness that lurks like the boogeymen under our beds. Koch roaches.

I spent the last few years documenting our water issues. We didn’t get what we needed and there is lots to do but I really believe in my heart that we were meant to go through what we did together to make us better, smarter, well educated advocates who have a really clear vision of what the big picture is. We literally saw people following the orders of rick scott. It’s our job to educate others. Asking for things will not work. The will of the people does not work. We are seeing this with amendment 1.  The people of Florida voted for amendment one and the legislators stole it.

We need a Governor who will remember that he represents us and not his evil cronies.

You watch this trailer and then you tell me if you want to go out and kill a bear. For what? Bear doesn’t taste good. No one wears fur.

Who is the enemy of the bear? Humans.

This week there was a big meeting in Fort Lauderdale. This is what happened.

http://www.wptv.com/news/state/harvest-numbers-set-for-revived-florida-bear-hunt

“The bear hunt, approved by the commission in June and set to start Oct. 24, will last from two to seven days. While the hunt is supposed to end in each region once the preset quotas are reached, hunters are guaranteed a minimum of two days of pursuing bears.

  • The state has sold 1,948 bear hunting permits SO FAR.

    I’m go to throw something else out here. The purpose of government is to protect us. I never really thought about this until I went for training to be a weather spotter. The mission of our weather service is not to entertain us or drive us crazy when storm are approaching.  Life and Limb. That’s it!

    Florida fish and wildlife have the nerve to have this on their website.

    https://license.myfwc.com/Customer/InternetCustomerLookup

    Whether fishing or hunting, we hope you enjoy your time and we appreciate your thoughtful participation in the preservation and conservation of the natural resources in the great State of Florida. Thank you.”

    Hypocrites.

    http://www.clickorlando.com/news/fwc-officials-to-set-bear-hunt-limit/35058086

    FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. –

    “Despite throngs of protesters, bear advocates were dealt a crushing defeat Wednesday when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved the killing of 320 bears next month during the state’s first bear hunting season in more than 20 years.

    “When this many people are speaking out and advocating for the bears, how would it have hurt them to put it off for a year and get better science behind it?” Terri Miller asked.

    The decision by FWC comes after a series of bear attacks on people and pets.”

    Except those bears are not the one’s getting killed. The hunters are going into the forest and chasing the bears out of their habitat into the populated areas.

    Only in Florida.

    Of course there is no science because the government of Florida doesn’t believe in science. They only believe in cronies.

    Here is the video from Ft Lauderdale yesterday.

    http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/9215-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission-part-4/

    We need your help.

    What can you do?

    Go here and stay connected with whats going on.

    https://www.facebook.com/stopbearhunt?fref=nf

    This is an online bear hunt protest on Facebook. It will take place every Friday and you can send a message to the people who are in charge. Tell them you won’t come to Florida if this hunt goes through.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1064535313556616/

    and you can sign this petition.

    http://www.care2.com/causes/how-you-can-help-stop-the-upcoming-florida-black-bear-hunt.html

    Thank you so much everyone! It’s very important that people from outside Florida speak out and condemn this.The majority of the people of Florida do not want this bear hunt. We need to take our Florida back.

Panthers, Manatees and Bears Oh my!

I’ve been thinking about the hunts that have opened up on our Florida Bear, and all the craziness that going on with hunting in our state parks and people wanting to take the Florida Panther off the endangered species list.

http://news.yahoo.com/florida-discusses-reduced-protection-endangered-panther-221628769.html;_ylt=A0LEVijTW55V3BcAPC0nnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTEzMjRzaXV2BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDRkZHRTAxXzEEc2VjA3Nj

“ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) – Florida’s wildlife agency may cut back on its efforts to save the endangered Florida panther two decades after helping return the big cats from the brink of extinction, according to an agency memo.

Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue, told the commission the memo implies that the state is moving toward removing federal protections from the panthers and eventually allowing hunts.”

http://www.news-press.com/story/life/outdoors/2015/01/02/panther-deaths-top-critter-story/21195203/

The downlisting came after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned by Pacific Legal Foundation, a private property attorney lobbying firm in Sacramento, Calif. Oddly, both the Endangered Species List and Pacific Legal Foundation were created in 1973.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_black_bear

Before Florida was settled by Europeans, Florida black bears occupied all of the Florida mainland, and even many of the Florida Keys, with a population around 12,000.[7] The current range is much more sporadic with isolated groups living mainly in protected areas in Florida, Southern Alabama, Southern Georgia and Southern Mississippi.[2][3] Most major populations of Florida black bears live in protected areas. These include Ocala National Forest, Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, Apalachicola National Forest, Osceola National Forest and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.[6][7] A study of the Okefenokee-Osceola population found over 500 bears in two study areas. The current bear population in Florida is estimated at more than 3,000 bears.[8]

Here is a chronological history of the Black Bear in Florida.

DSC_0015

http://myfwc.com/media/425848/bear_managment_timeline.pdf

Bear hunting was closed on Eglin WMA in 1958, Big Cypress WMA in
1960 , and Ocala NF in 1961.

GFC created definition and list of Threatened Species under Chapter 16E of the Florida Wildlife Code and includes bear as a Threatened Species.

1990

“USFWS petitioned to list the Florida black bear as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.”
You get the picture. We had them. They were hunted into extinction. We managed them. They came back. Now we’re going to kill them.
“Florida wildlife officials moved forward Wednesday with a proposal to allow black bear hunting for the first time in more than two decades.”
Manatees
“The potential change in the manatee’s status is being considered under pressure from the Pacific Legal Foundation, a libertarian group that generally opposes all environmental regulations.”

“The Pacific Legal Foundation is a Sacramento, California-based legal organization that was established March 5, 1973 [1] to support pro-business causes. In recent years, it has taken a lead in pursuing anti-affirmative action policies.”

It is the key right-wing public interest litigation firm in a network of similar organizations funded initially by Scaife Foundations money across the USA to support capitalism and oppose environmental and health activism and government regulation.

The organization has been [2] partially funded by a range of corporations and conservative foundations, including by the Koch family Claude R. Lambe Foundation in 1998.[1]

So the people behind taking the Manatee off the endangered list is the Koch Brothers and the Scaife Foundations.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fred-grimm/article15524330.html

But still, with 6,000 or so manatees swimming around, there’s a chance that the feds will indeed pronounce them merely threatened. That’s the same status that was conferred on the Florida black bear — with only 3,000 left in the state.

That seemed plenty enough for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which last month (not long after legalizing silencers for hunting weapons) voted to reinstate bear hunting.

If the FWC figures that it’s okay to hunt a beloved species with a population of 3,000, imagine what kind of sportin’ activities those good ol’ boys in Tallahassee can rationalize now that we’ve got twice that many manatees terrorizing Florida’s waterways. Imagine the fun.

Three of our beloved on endangered species list. One libertarian organization from California making the rules.
Who owns the Florida Legislature so they are complicit with the whims of the very libertarian whims of the Pacific Legal Foundation?

Trust me. I am not a bear.

@voteforjennifer

@SteveCrisafulli

@Piper

education not incarceration

#educationnotincarceration

So one day when my Dad was alive he decided that he was taking my mom and moving from Boca Raton to Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder

Boulder

One of them was sick and my sister and her family were out of town and I was home with one of my favorite dogs, Blue.

blue

blue

This was a great trip. I wrote a kick ass article about the issues with dogs in the open spaces for Boca Dog Magazine while I dealt with my aging parents medical issues.
One morning I was sleeping and Blue came in and would not leave me alone. This is one of best dogs I have ever known. You could take  her anywhere (except to  the vet and that’s another story) off leash. I’m having this crazy dream and Blue is waking me up and i’m digging the dream and I’m sleeping and she just won’t stop. I get up and she throws herself up against the window and down below I see this huge black bear feasting on the garbage.
I apologize to Blue and I just stand there and watch because I have no earthly idea of what to do.
I had seen lots of animals here. In the foothills of Boulder there are  deer, mountain lions,  but I had never seen a bear this close before. So i decided it (he she?)would eventually go away when it (he/she) was full.

Fast forward to a few years ago I was sitting at a table with my friend Maryanne and she’s pitching this film about “The Cape Cod Bear.” I love this idea. I knew about the Boulder bear and other bear stories and I thought it was great.

Fast forward again to last year I went up to Gainesville with Maryanne  to the Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival and Maryanne had invited a guest to come to the screening  from Florida Wildlife and the one thing I learned from that day is “Don’t feed the bears.” That was the big sticking point. We, humans, are the worse enemy of the bears. Us.

One other thing I learned is that male bears leave their homes in search of mates far away because genetically that is the right thing to do. At this point the black bears in Florida are smarter than our legislators. They at have sense to follow their good intuition and do the right thing.

Sorry I digress.

So here is the film and maybe you all could watch it and learn something.  It’s play all over including

Official Selection 50th Annual Conference of the Animal Behavior Society at UC Boulder, CO

http://www.mgproductions.biz/rewilding-america-lessons-learned-cape-cod-bear

Rewilding America: Lessons Learned from the Cape Cod Bear

In May 2012, a black bear altered the course of Massachusetts wildlife history, completing a journey from the mainland to the tip of Cape Cod. The first bear sighting in centuries captured the imagination, attention and hearts of everyone from locals to tourists, law enforcement to TV crews and Tweeters all hoping to catch a glimpse or even capture the elusive bear himself. The film chronicles this bear’s travels while digging into the dilemma of human co-existence with an increasingly emboldened wildlife population across North America. Blending humor and hard hitting facts, the doc includes a range of perspectives from a wildlife biologist, zoo curator, veterinarian, cub rescuer, park rangers, hunter, Cape Cod nature writer and a Provincetown entrepreneur.

The film examines conservation with a focus on the conditions that lead individuals to participate in environmentally sustainable behaviors, thus assuring the continuity and health of wildlife and our shared landscapes.

Written, Produced and Directed by Maryanne Galvin

Edited by Maryanne Galvin & H. Adam Lenz

So fast forward to now.
Our Florida legislators are considering opening up hunting because we humans can’t stop feeding them.

and they are putting this in place.
http://miami.cbslocal.com/2015/04/27/lawmakers-look-to-curb-bear-gator-feeding
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – As the state tries to reduce dangerous interactions between bears and humans, lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would change the penalties for feeding wildlife.
The Senate on Friday unanimously approved the bill (HB 7021), which passed the House earlier and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, and Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, comes as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission prepares to give formal approval to a black bear hunt this fall — the first such hunt in two decades.
The hunt stems from interactions between bears and humans in some parts of the state, with wildlife officials saying a major cause of the problem is residents leaving out garbage that attracts bears.
The bill, in part, would increase penalties for people charged a fourth time with feeding bears and alligators not in captivity. The charge would be a third-degree felony.
Currently, a fourth offense of illegally feeding wildlife within a 10-year period is a first-degree misdemeanor.

So what is a third degree felony?
http://www.ericmathenylaw.com/Criminal-Defense-Blog/2010/December/3rd-Degree-Felonies.aspx
A third degree felony is the least serious of all the felonies.

3rd Degree Felonies
Posted on Dec 25, 2010 7:55am PST
3rd degree felonies are some of the most common felony offenses committed in Florida.

Everybody charged with a felony is facing a maximum sentence of state prison.

3rd degree felonies are punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.  If you are a Habitual Offender (HO), you face 10 years for most 3rd degree felonies.

The penalties for 3rd degree felonies can range from PTI (Pretrial Intervention), all the way up to prison.

For the most part, 3rd degree felonies are non-violent property crimes and drug possession-level offenses.

Some examples of 3rd degree felonies are:

Possession of cocaine
Possession of oxycodone
Possession of marijuana (more than 20 grams)
Grand theft 3rd
Burglary of an unoccupied conveyance
Burglary of an unoccupied structure
Driving as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)
Aggravated assault
Felony battery
Battery on a law enforcement officer
Resisting an officer with violence
Uttering a forged instrument
3rd or subsequent DUI
3rd degree felonies are punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.  If you are a Habitual Offender (HO), you face 10 years for most 3rd degree felonies.

The penalties for 3rd degree felonies can range from PTI (Pretrial Intervention), all the way up to prison.

dead bear

dead bear

So, if my adventure with the bear was today or at least when this law is past – orange would be my new black. As bad as possessing cocaine or battery on a law enforcement officer or forgery.

DSC_0016

How in the world did we get here?

Instead of killing bears and going to jail why not educate people on how to deal with bears. This is not grizzly man.

http://www.skinnymoose.com/bbb/2007/06/23/expert-advice-on-dealing-with-black-bears

and please stop feeding them.

Education not incarceration.

bear