The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) met with stakeholders last Tuesday to seek assistance with the proposed draft rules for Florida's imperiled species listing process.
After listening all day to members of environmental groups, recreationists, developers and staff from other government entities, the FWC decided to take more time to work on the new process, which will include a comprehensive management system for those species that are in danger of going extinct.
Originally, FWC staff planned to present draft rules to the Commission on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at its quarterly the meeting in Howey-in-the-Hills. However, after the stakeholder meeting, it was decided to hold more public and stakeholder meetings. Staff will make a presentation at September's meeting and then bring draft rules to the Commission for consideration at its December meeting in Clewiston.
"Our stakeholders told us they supported what we were doing, but they felt it needs a little more work and that it was important to present a rule to the Commission that everyone could support," said Dr. Elsa Haubold, the leader of FWC's imperiled species team. "We all have the same goal and that is to conserve wildlife in Florida."
A team of FWC employees has been working on draft rules to create a comprehensive management system, which will identify species that need state intervention for survival. The draft rules link species protections to science, while using a balanced approach through collaboration and partnerships.
"We are committed to working with anyone who's interested in providing input as staff drafts rules that focus on management of species," Haubold said. "It is important for the public to understand and support how we conserve imperiled species."
The proposed draft rules are available for reviewing and comment at MyFWC.com/WILDLIFEHABITATS/imperiledSpp_index.htm. Public comments on the draft rules can be e-mailed to imperiled@MyFWC.com.