Bear Hunt: It’s true. Floridians cannot be trusted to hunt bears.

If you go back and look at the multitude of blogs I have written about the bear hunt you’ll see I was right. Unfortunately being right doesn’t bring back the lactating bears. Does not give young cubs their moms back.

This is what we know right now.

A letter was sent by Chuck O’Neal from Wake up Wekevia

chucks letter

http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/wildlife/bear-hunt-likely-headed-to-an-early-end/2251210

Florida’s first bear hunt in 21 years may become a victim of its own success. Florida’s hunters have killed so many bears that state wildlife officials say they are likely to end what was envisioned as a week-long season after only two days.

The commission had set quotas for each of four areas where hunting was allowed, and Wiley shut down two of them at the end of the first day of the hunt because they exceeded their limit of dead bears. The hunters in one of those regions, the eastern Panhandle, had brought in twice as many dead bears as the limit permitted. Updated figures presented in the 3 p.m. conference call showed the hunters killed even more bears than the official record reflected on Saturday.

In the eastern Panhandle, the new numbers show hunters killed 112 bears, or nearly three times the limit of 40 that the commission had set. The Central Florida region’s limit had been 100, and hunters topped that too, bringing in 139 dead bears by mid-day Sunday. Both of those sections were closed to hunting as of 9 p.m. Saturday, but commission rules say hunters had up to 12 hours to bring in any bears killed before the area was closed. That’s why the numbers were much higher as of Sunday.

The commission’s top bear expert, Thomas Eason, said the high number of bears killed showed that hundreds of eager hunters spent weeks scouting locations to guarantee a shot at a bear. He also credited the high number of bears killed to the fact that the last Florida bear hunt was in 1994.

“The bears haven’t been hunted in 21 years, so they’re relatively naive,” Eason said.

Opponents of the hunt, including the Sierra Club and Speak Up Wekiva, called for the statewide hunt to be shut down Saturday, warning that killing too many bears would be a disaster for a population that until 2012 was on the state’s imperiled species list. But Wiley only closed the areas that had exceeded their quota.

The Sierra Club’s Frank Jackalone, in a Saturday e-mail to Wiley, contended that the over-the-limit bear killing showed that the state’s “predictions that hunters would find it difficult to track and kill Florida black bears were dead wrong, leaving science trumped by sloppy guesswork.”

The Sierra Club’s Frank Jackalone, in a Saturday e-mail to Wiley, contended that the over-the-limit bear killing showed that the state’s “predictions that hunters would find it difficult to track and kill Florida black bears were dead wrong, leaving science trumped by sloppy guesswork.”

Jackalone, in a Sunday interview, criticized the wildlife commission for not limiting the number of hunting permits that were sold, which he said guaranteed there would be too many hunters killing bears. He also contended that the wildlife agency’s actions had “set back the recovery of the bears for years, if not decades.”

Decades. Sloppy. Hunter’s would it difficult to track. Science trumped sloppy guesswork.

Welcome to Florida.

It’s been a weekend and I have to say from both sides. Some nasty woman who was busy having a twitter war with the FWC got mad at me and accused me of all kinds of nasty things. People were terrible. To me. This person is telling me  I’m for the hunt and for Rick Scott. I’m not writing this to complain. I’ve seen this kind of stuff for years. Read my hate circuit blog. People get so uncontrolled hate their brain changes. The circuit goes off. It doesn’t matter what side of the issue your own. People start threatening each other,  name calling. Like the PETA witch that called me a dog killer at a hearing in Palm Beach County. (Look how well that turned out more dogs and cats are being euthanized)

They honestly think that calling rick scott’s office and being angry voter is going to make a difference. He is probably dancing on the table.

They think that calling their legislator will make a difference.’

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/florida-bear-hunt-207-killed-on-first-day-7351694

Robert Ruderman, of the group Animal Hero Kids, said, “The Florida black bear hunt is a well-calculated, thinly disguised power play by right-wing Governor Rick Scott and his faithful servants on the FWC Commission at the behest of powerful special interests; namely, the gun and hunting industries and lobbies, influential land developers, and wealthy trophy hunters..” 

This is correct. Florida bought and Paid for. Mission Accomplished!

Here is some video. its terrible. I’m warning you now.

On this one they got most of the story wrong.

Here is one of our hero’s Chuck O Neal

Listen to his words. We are suppose to protect the bears. The hunt was picked on cherry picked data.

Here is an excellent article from Psychology Today

Florida Bear Hunt Ignores Conservation Psychology & Science

Florida’s decision to reinstate bear hunting after a 21-year hiatus (link is external) ignores well-established science on human-bear conflicts and constitutes an appalling magnification of the ethical defects afflicting the killing of grizzly mother Blaze by officials at Yellowstone National Park and, more recently, the killing of Boulder Bear 317 by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 320 black bears – 10% of the estimated statewide population – have been targeted by Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for killing by recreational hunters (you can see the hunt plan here), a lethal response that is massively disproportionate to the concerns that have been articulated by human stakeholders about property damage and a handful of relatively minor attacks on humans. The hunt’s quota is in addition to the increasingly routine practice of killing bears who have been deemed a nuisance and to high road kill rates (282 in 2012 alone (link is external)). A combined mortality rate of 20% of the entire bear population has become Florida’s ghastly new definition of sustainability, while the human population of the state increases by more than the entire bear population every single week, a fact that human policy-makers regard as a source of pride (link is external), not a cause for grave concern.

Instead, Dr. Eason, for one, seems to be perfectly comfortable with Floridians repeating their familiar role as super-predators, killing adult bears in their prime reproductive years, imposing far-reaching collateral damage on family units and the bear population as a whole. Although Florida’s bear hunt forbids the “harvesting” — read, killing — of mother bears with cubs, this will inevitably happen, since mothers commonly “tree” their cubs up to 200 yards away, out of sight from hunters. Black bear cubs stay with their mother for up to two years, learning essential survival skills and enjoying her protection from male bears and other animals who may harm them. As orphans, their prospects for survival are grim. And, since we know that animals experience a wide range of emotions, including joy, love, empathy, and grief, it is beyond dispute that these cubs will suffer immense emotional, as well as physical, distress. Equally repugnant is the fact that the FWC knows that some female bears will be pregnant at this time of year (just prior to denning), and there is no way for hunters to discern the gender of their target until they’re killed. Far from apologizing for these horrific effects, Dr. Eason has matter-of-factly stated that this is all part of the plan.

please read this from our friend at the Daily Kumquat.

The Lingering Stench of Death: Witnessing the Developers’ War on Florida’s Black Bears, October 24-25, 2015

These images document the death of 18 beautiful, innocent, sentient creatures who were denied the right to follow their unique paths through life in an environment that was ideally suited to their wants and needs. Every drop of blood symbolizes not merely a loss of life but a loss of decency, a perversion of science, an affront to democracy, and an indelible stain on the character of the State of Florida

http://www.dailykumquat.com/florida-developers-war-on-black-bears-october-24-25-2015/

and lastly from my friend Debbie Culp over on the west coast of Florida. We must must find a way to come together and talk. Because while we’re fighting over this who knows what is being plotted and planned.

In regard to the bear hunt:
When controversy strikes, I strive to hear and understand the position and feelings of the perceived opposition. Tho very defensive at first, and rightfully so given the numerous arguments and personal attacks on individuals, generational families, and hunting culture at large, I found some very genuine hunters willing to speak openly and honestly about the hunt, existing law, and FWC. While they strongly defended their rights to traditional hunting, the need for FWC reform in policy making was expressed. They openly admitted that the FWC based their policy on the bear hunt on old data of bear population. They felt that had updated data been presented prior to the hunt that it would reflect even higher numbers of population based on what they had observed in certain locations. This of course is only speculative because FWC did not bother to do this when making such an important decision. They also suggested a need for reform in laws on fining the practices of unethical hunters with fines as low as 50 dollars for killing a Mother bear with cub under 70lbs.
They also adamantly expressed the need for human population control in the state of Florida and openly expressed that much bear and other wildlife’s habitat has been consumed by development and particularly sited developments next to wetlands critical to the survival of wildlife. In defense of the attacks on trophy hunting, they explained that the traditional hunter does eat the meat. Although I do not prefer bear meat, I have been to plenty of wildlife dinners where bear was served. While this may be revolting so some, we have many families in Florida, many going back many generations in Florida living sustainant lives, where hunting, fishing, , raising their animals and growing their food is an integral part of their lives as they pass down traditions to their children.
I saw much arguing, name calling, viscous attacks on people, families and businesses by environmentalist. As an environmentalist I was deeply dismayed by some of this behavior. This is not the way to communicate. The focus should be on reform of policy and we all can contribute to this if we communicate appropriately and not alienate, polarize and burn bridges. The powers that be would like nothing better than for there to be abyss of division. Attack the policies and policy makers, not the people. Just my opinion.”

Thank you Debbie. Your opinion is very much appreciated.

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Big Sugar Summit: Julia Hathaway, Is Big Sugar Burning Your Lungs?

Big Sugar Summit: Julia Hathaway, Is Big Sugar Burning Your Lungs?

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burnt sugar field pahokee

Here is our amazing friend Julia Hathaway at the Big Sugar Summit!   I learned so much from her speech and now I know all the things that can be done with sugar cane if it is green harvested. Brazil and Australia do it!

We can green harvest too. Imagine something good  coming out  this whole mess!

http://sugarcane.org/sustainability/best-practices

Reduced Use of Agrochemicals

Application of pesticides on Brazilian sugarcane fields is negligible and use of fungicides practically nonexistent. Major diseases that threaten sugarcane are fought through biological control, introducing natural enemies to fight pests and advanced genetic enhancement programs.

Brazilian sugarcane growers also apply relatively few industrialized fertilizers, using on average 75 kilograms per hectare. That’s 50% less than the amount typically applied to corn in the United States and 30% less than what’s used for beet sugar in Europe.

Brazilian sugarcane needs fewer chemicals due to the innovative use of organic fertilizers created during sugarcane processing. For instance, sugarcane mills recover residues called filter cake (which is rich in phosphorus) and vinasse (loaded with potassium, organic matter and other nutrients), which they use in place of traditional fertilizers.”

Is Big Sugar Burning Your Lungs?

You can help by going here and filling out this questionnaire.

http://stopsugarburning.org/contact-us/

http://rrvsga.com/sierra-club-activists-call-for-sugar-cane-clean-up/

Sierra Club Activists Call For Sugar Cane Clean-Up

CBS 12 (TV): Sierra Club Activists Call For Sugar Cane Clean-Up By: Jonathan Beaton

“Hundreds of environmentalists gathered Saturday in West Palm Beach, determined to clean up Palm Beach County’s sugar cane industry.

CBS12 attended Sierra Club’s Sugar Cane Summit, talking with activists about what they call our country’s love of fructose and the dangers the crop potentially poses to you and your family.

Wolfram Alverson, a California nutritionist attended the event, telling CBS12 America is too dependent on sugar, saying with each passing year more and more cases of childhood diabetes are diagnosed.

“In fact we’re seeing type 2 diabetes in the womb now so it’s being transferred from mothers to their children, even before they’re born,” said Wolfram Alverson.

Another troublesome aspect of the industry is how the crop is harvested and what gets left behind.

Julia Hathaway with Sierra Club says it’s common practice for some sugarcane to be burned, sending toxic fumes into the air and possibly into our water supply.

Leftover crops she says could be recycled and used for good.

“That can be used to make products including bio-plastic and parts you can use as mulch,” said Julia Hathaway.

For now, Hathaway says she and her fellow activists have their work cut out for them, raising awareness so lawmakers and companies can make changes, for a better Palm Beach County. “It’s a big problem and it’s a big hill to climb but we’re worth it and we should stand up for ourselves.”

http://www.cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/sierra-club-activists-call-sugar-cane-cleanup-26720.shtml

If you would like more information or to be involved go here.

http://stopsugarburning.org/get-involved

Here is a piece I did a few weeks ago on sugar burning your lungs.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/06/16/sugar-u-effects-of-burning-sugar-cane-on-your-lungs/

Here is a video of a sugar burn.

S

Sugar U: The US Sugar Corp

@sugarcard2

In a few week we’ll be going to the Sugar Summit that is being put together by our great friends, the Florida SIerra Club. I thought it was a good time to bone up on who’z who and what’s what.

Please feel free to chime in. Even at sugarcard2 – we want to hear from you!

Yesterday, my friend Jules and I went out to Clewiston. The headquarters for US Sugar Corporation resides there.

They call themselves ” America’s Sweetest Town.” Maybe sweet in sugar but not sweet people. The last time I went out there was to shoot “The Sugarland Rally”

Sugarland-540x675The Sugarland Rally was a really sincere effort to bring people together to discuss our water issues together. Lead by our friend Justin Riney. This was their message.

An open letter to Florida residents from The Sugarland Rally Committee:

Dear Florida,

Please read these important details regarding a bicoastal rally we have planned for September 1st on Lake Okeechobee. There are multiple organizations involved in planning this event, and we need your help immediately to get the word out.

 The Sugarland Rally will unite the east and west coasts of Florida in a peaceful, historic demonstration to speak out against the pollution of our estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges. We support both immediate and long-term solutions, but ecosystems and communities along the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries are in crisis. We cannot afford to wait for ecological and economic collapse. We urge all stakeholders–especially local, state and federal governments–to act immediately.

 We chose Clewiston as a central location to unify east and west at Lake Okeechobee, the source that is polluting our estuaries, and because we believe Florida’s sugar industry can be part of the solution. Please don’t misinterpret our intentions–we are NOT holding a rally at Clewiston to protest or point fingers at “Big Sugar.” It’s quite the opposite, actually. We invite Florida’s powerful sugar industry to join us in crafting an immediate solution to the ecological and economic crisis caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Here’s a golden opportunity to earn the respect, loyalty, and trust of Floridians for generations to come–to squash the stereotypes–by standing with the people in support of a solution. Without the healthy longevity of Florida’s land and water, we’re all out of business. Our children and grandchildren are out of business. We invite Florida’s sugar industry to stand with us in support of preserving the wonderful land and water that keeps us all in business. We must think longer term, we must think sustainably, and the time to act is now.

 Our message is a peaceful one to emphasize a powerful sense of unity needed among ALL Floridians, and to urge local, state, and federal governments to act immediately to stop the pollution of our estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges. We are all entitled to healthy land and water, and it is our responsibility as citizens, working with our government, to preserve these treasured assets and ensure their longevity for generations to come. Let’s all unite as Floridians in support of both immediate and long-term solutions. The Sugarland Rally will be a peaceful demonstration that we can all be proud of.

 Join The Sugarland Rally conversation on the event page at http://www.bit.ly/sugarlandrally, and please share this post with as many concerned Floridians as possible. This is a call to action, and we need your help.

 Respectfully,

The Sugarland Rally Committee

This was a rally to have a discussion to pull us all together.  US= east coast, west coast, and the people of Clewiston. For us it was to make sure we respect the people that live in the south of the lake and make sure they are safe. Human being stuff. Community stuff.

Here is the video I shot. As you can see at the beginning we were quit stoked to be there.

After the rally we went on the invitation of the Mayor to the Roland Martin Marina for some food. When we got there they refused to serve us. Every person in the room stared us down and honestly if they had guns they would have shot us down.

We went next door where I met up with friends Bob and Lisa Riney (parents of justin) and ate lunch and my friends did end up getting a few drinks because Mayor Roland showed up.

Mind you, I’m the video girl, who’s only job was to document the event. And I was starving, hot, tired. So so much for Southern Hospitality. So much for olive branches.

Afterwards in the Clewiston New’s more hate came from the people who were quite verbal, quite nasty and totally unwilling to listen to any kind of reason.

To this day, I still believe in the mission of the Sugarland rally and our extended Olive Branch.

olive branch

I can’t tell you why. I’m not a psychic. I can only tell you what happened.

In spit of that, I still worry about the people who live there and how much work is being done on the dike and always hope they will be safe.

When we went out yesterday I even wore my Marshall Tucker Band T shirt. I mean who would shoot a video girl with a Marshall Tucker Band Shirt? (Really didn’t stay there long enough to find out)

This stop BTW just a pit stop on our way to STA 5/6.

On the corner of “Happy and Healthy”

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US Sugar

US Sugar

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Sugar_Corporation

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They also run the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Central_Florida_Express,_Inc.

South Central Florida Express, Incorporated (reporting mark SCXF) (originally known as the South Central Florida Railroad (reporting mark SCFE) and run by the Brandywine Valley Railroad until September 17, 1994) is a short line railroad in southern Florida run by US Sugar Corporation. It serves customers at 26 locations.

U.S. Sugar, the only sugar company in the continental U.S. to transport sugarcane by rail, owns private trackage to take the cane to the SCFE. From there, the SCFE runs around both sides of Lake Okeechobee. The west side connects to CSX‘s Auburndale Subdivision at Sebring, and the east side crosses CSX at Marcy and interchanges with the Florida East Coast Railway at Fort Pierce, with haulage rights to CSX and Norfolk Southern at Jacksonville, Florida.

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US Sugar Corp campaign to help cancer

Here are some people you may know that work there.

Robert Coker

coker-full

http://www.ussugar.com/press_room/bios/coker_bio.html

Robert Coker is Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, of United States Sugar Corporation. He is responsible for managing the company’s federal, state and local government affairs department and the company’s corporate and charitable giving programs encompassing numerous community and employee-relations activities. As a member of senior management, Coker also actively participates in corporate matters involving real estate, environmental regulation, budgeting and allocation of capital.

He is a former Chairman of the Board of Regents for Leadership Florida. He serves on the board of directors for the Florida Sugar Cane League, the Board of Trustees of BIZ-PAC of Palm Beach County and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and serves on the Executive Committee of Florida Taxwatch.

Malcolm “Bubba” Wade

mbw

http://www.ussugar.com/press_room/bios/wade_bio.html

Malcolm S. Wade, Jr. is Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development of United States Sugar Corporation. He has been employed by the Company for more than 27 years and has been a member of the senior management team for over 20 years. Wade, a certified public accountant, joined the company as Director of Internal Audit in 1982 and subsequently was named director, vice president and senior vice president of the Administrative Service Group and is currently senior vice president of sugar operations.

For more than 20 years, Wade has been involved in developing and overseeing the Company’s environmental responsibilities. Through his appointments by two governors and the South Florida Water Management District to working groups on South Florida environmental issues, Wade has helped shape public policy regarding Everglades Restoration.

In March 2005, Governor Bush appointed Wade to a four-year term on the South Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board, a position he resigned in 2008 due to the State’s proposed acquisition of U.S. Sugar. Previously, Wade was a member of the team representing South Florida farmers that spent more than a year negotiating with the Interior and Justice Departments, the State of Florida and the South Florida Water Management District to resolve the legal disputes over Everglades Restoration. He represented farmers on the technical mediation committee that crafted the Technical Mediated Plan for Everglades Restoration, which was adopted by the Florida Legislature in the spring of 1994.

He was appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles to the Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida, which worked for four years to establish a consensus plan for Everglades Restoration. The work of the commission became the framework for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) approved by Congress and is currently being implemented throughout south Florida.

Wade’s work on restoration issues continued with his appointment by Gov. Jeb Bush to the Governor’s Commission for the Everglades. He is a past member and co-chair of the South Florida Water Management District Water Resource Advisory Commission (WRAC) as well as a past member and chairman of the Lake Okeechobee Advisory Committee of the WRAC. He is also a past member of the District’s Lower East Coast Water Supply Planning Committee and the Budget Review commission. In addition, Wade served on the South Florida Agricultural Council Water Commission, the Caloosahatchee Water Management Advisory Committee and is a director of the Everglades Agricultural Area Environmental Protection District.

Wade is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Internal Auditors.

JUDY C. SANCHEZ

sanchez-full

www.ussugar.com/press_room/bios/sanchez_bio.html

Judy C. Sanchez is the Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for United States Sugar Corporation. She joined U.S. Sugar in 1994, transferring from its South Bay Growers vegetable division where she worked as a Marketing Specialist.

Mrs. Sanchez attended the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in communications. A fourth generation farmer, she has spent most of her life in and around the sugar cane industry, both in Florida and Louisiana. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau, Childcare of Southwest Florida, and the Agricultural Institute of Florida.

She lives in Belle Glade, Florida, with her husband and two sons.

Judy follows me on twitter so I hope she reads this. We night not like what Judy does or says but for her boss’s she does a great job! Check out the tweets!

I think this tweet says it all.

Here are some fun videos for our friends out in Clewiston.

Don’t be a bad arnie!

Sure glad my visit to Clewiston yesterday didn’t end like this.

or this