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Fb40 2060 Formatted

Fb40 2060 Formatted

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Published by Bob Wattendorf
Fish Busters' Bulletin about Wildlife 2060 a conservation planning view of the future (Apr 2009).
Fish Busters' Bulletin about Wildlife 2060 a conservation planning view of the future (Apr 2009).

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Published by: Bob Wattendorf on Jun 28, 2011
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06/28/2011

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Florida Fish Busters’ Bulletin April 2009
The future of freshwater fishing in Florida
By Bob Wattendorf Fish and Wildlife Conservation CommissionWhen you cast a lure in Florida, you are participating in a time-honoredtradition in the Sunshine State. Today we all share responsibility for conserving ourfisheries and for passing the angling tradition along to our youth.Some things such as climate change and population explosions may seem outof our hands, but individually we all can do something to keep those fish biting eventhrough challenging times. Perhaps even more than ever, we all could benefit fromthe pleasures of a day spent fishing, watching the sun glisten on the water andhearing a fish strike a topwater plug.It is hard to imagine the Florida Juan Ponce de León saw when he firstlanded in 1513. By 1539, Hernando de Soto was exploring the interior of the stateand discovering fish traps used by the Ucita natives on the Myakka River andelsewhere.Sunday morning sermons about the importance of recreational fishing torestore the “psyche for work” by Reverend Seccombe and others had been publishedas early as 1739 in the colonies. Florida didn’t become a state until 1845, and fiveyears later the first state census listed 87,445 residents. Those Floridians enjoyedthe benefits of recreational angling and already saw the need for conservation.Florida’s first freshwater fishing regulation, passed in 1855, prohibited haul seinesto conserve the resource. Then in his 1864 benchmark publication — 
The American
 
 Angler --
Thaddeus Norris talked about the importance of recreational anglersreleasing a portion of their catch. A century later, in 1950, 2.8 million people livedin Florida.Today, with the population hoveringaround 19 million, the Florida Fish andWildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)faces amazing challenges as it strives tomanage freshwater fisheries for their long-term well being and the benefit of allthose people. The population is increasingby nearly a thousand people per day, and by 2060, it is predicted the humanpopulation will have reached 36 million.
1000 Friends of Florida graphic showsdeveloped areas in red as they exist today.
 A study, entitled
Florida 2060 
,published by 1000 Friends of Floridasuggests that 7 million acres of natural orrural land will have to be converted tourban use by 2060. The report notes thatthe governor, state legislators, agenciesand residents can help ensure sustainablenatural resources and a healthyenvironment by deliberate growth management, fostering Florida Forever and otherland acquisition programs. The University of Central Florida subsequently released
This slide shows uncontrolled developmentin 2060, effectively placing an area the size of Connecticut under concrete.
 
 Alternative 2060 
, which shows how by following seven major principles the statecould accommodate this growth in a more environmentally sensitive way that wouldactually be more economical for the state.Now more than ever, the FWC realizes that recognizing the unique attributesof Florida’s ecology and natural resources and the role they play in creating aquality lifestyle for Floridians is critical. The future depends on science-basedmanagement, and a proactive look at deliberate growth leadership.
Wildlife 2060,
a report by the FWC (see MyFWC.com), shows Florida’snatural lands and waters are at the core of our prosperity, bringing billions of dollars in economic benefits to our state every year. The report predicts what wouldhappen if current growth patterns continue, but it also highlights activities thathave been pursued to shape growth in an environmentally sensitive andcommunity-friendly way. By building on these lessons we can prevent haphazardsprawl, maintain a natural fish and wildlife community and ensure futuregenerations can continue to enjoy them.One of the seven principles referenced by the
 Alternative 2060 
report relatesto climate change as do some of the key concerns in
Wildlife 2060 
. Projections forglobal warming posit severe threats to the future of our ecology, fish and wildlife,and recreational use, in particular as shoreline areas become more inundated byrising water levels over the next century.The FWC has taken a leadership role in this area too by holding a summitentitled “Florida’s Wildlife: On the Frontline of Climate Change.” The summitincluded Nobel Peace Prize laureates Dr. Jean Brennan, from Defenders of Wildlife,

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