Rick Scott plans to open state parks to hunting, cattle grazing and commercial timber harvesting

By Miami Herald’s Carl Hiaasen, 11/21/2015:

A Senate committee last week voted 7-1 to confirm Jon Steverson as Scott’s hand-picked choice to lead the shriveled and demoralized Department of Environmental Protection.

One of Steverson’s missions is to fulfill the governor’s dream of opening state parks to hunting, cattle grazing and commercial timber harvesting. The second part of Steverson’s job is to take the heat for this obscene idea, and he’s getting plenty.

Testifying last week, he insisted that Florida’s nationally honored park system is “not for sale.”

“I’m not looking to commercialize parks,” Steverson said. “And I’m not looking to ruin the park visitor experience.”

… A lawyer and lobbyist from North Florida, Steverson was executive director of the Northwest Florida Water Management District. Before that he’d worked as a special counsel on water issues for DEP.

Initially, his appointment was met with cautious hope in the conservation community, but Steverson has wasted no time doing Scott’s dirty work. He orchestrated a purge of the top staff of the St. Johns Water Management District, including experienced and well-respected managers involved in water-quality policy for 18 counties.

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