ECOSWF works with local organizations to limit the scope of phosphate mining, particularly to keep mining operations out of the headwaters of local watersheds.
ECOSWF members regularly attend legislative hearings and government meetings to ensure state and federal mining regulations are enforced.
Contact: Sarah Hollenhorst
ECOSWF works with local organizations and local and state governments to ensure sustainable growth in Southwest Florida. In particular we work on issues such as over-development and monitor long-range growth plans of local counties and municipalities.
Contact: Becky Ayech
ECOSWF and the Sierra Club file lawsuit to protect Florida Panther
Stating that expanding State Rd. 29 and State Rd. 82 would harm the panthers, Plaintiffs request that the Court enter a declaratory judgment that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has violated and is violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by failing to prepare a legally adequate biological opinion. Actions challenged in the lawsuit include the following:
ii. FDOT, acting under an MOU with FHWA, has violated and is violating NEPA and the APA by adopting and relying on a legally deficient Categorical Exclusion to avoid preparing an EA or EIS;
iii. The Corps has violated and is violating NEPA and the APA by adopting and relying on a legally deficient biological opinion in its environmental assessment.
- Vacate and set aside USFWS’ biological opinions for the challenged FDOT road expansion activities;
- Vacate and set aside FDOT’s categorical exclusion for the challenged FDOT road expansion activities;
- Vacate and set aside the Corps’ environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact for the challenged FDOT road expansion activities...
ECOSWF JOINS OTHERS
IN AMENDMENT 1 LAWSUIT
Despite an initial court victory in 2018 which found 185 appropriations totaling more than $420 million unconstitutional, an appellate court sent the case back to the trial court without deciding whether the funds are being misused.
The appellate court focused its decision on a narrow aspect of the initial ruling. It rejected the original judge’s determination that Amendment 1 funds could only be spent on lands purchased after the amendment took effect in 2015.
For the time being, lawmakers will still be free to use Amendment 1 money how they see fit, including in the legislative session that begins in January.
Protection of the Florida Panther and Florida Endangered Species
ECOSWF joins others in statement against Gargiulo, Inc.'s 50-year Incidental Take Permit application (easter Collier County) in order to prevent "incidental" taking of a listed species by permit holders allowed to proceed with an activity, such as construction or other economic development.
February 20, 2020
Public Comments Processing
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters,
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041–3803
RE: Comment on incidental take permit (ITP) application of Garguilo, Inc.
Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2018-0079
Submitted electronically onwww.regulations.govwww.regulations.gov
Dear Deputy Regional Director Oetker:
The below-signed organizations and businesses urge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to deny Gargiulo, Inc.'s application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. Joining 11 other permit applicants relying on the proposed, and inadequate, Eastern Collier Property Owners “Habitat Conservation Plan,” this ITP would authorize the taking of the Florida panther and other Federal or State-listed species for 50 years. Other listed species affected by the HCP and ITPs include: Everglade snail kite, Audubon’s Crested caracara, Roseate spoonbill, Red-cockaded woodpecker, Wood stork, Florida scrub jay, Burrowing owl, Florida sandhill crane, Little blue heron, Southeastern American kestrel, Tricolored heron, Florida bonneted bat, Gopher tortoise, Big Cypress fox squirrel, Eastern indigo snake, Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Everglades mink, Gopher frog.
These 18 listed species, and especially the Florida panther, would be gravely impacted by the residential and commercial development, earth mining, and low-intensity rural land activities defined in the permit requests.
We request you deny Gargiulo, Inc.'s ITP application.