The wacky challenge that grabbed national headlines -- and perhaps more than its fair share of derision -- will come to a head Saturday morning, when the 2013 Python Challenge awards are presented in Miami.
If Gov. Rick Scott's proposed $74.2 billion budget passes the Legislature intact, it would include $75 million for conservation land projects spearheaded by the Florida Forever Coalition. The 2013-2014 budget also includes $60 million for Everglades restoration and $6.5 million for restoring springs.
It's often said that there is no other place in the world like Florida's Everglades. Despite man's best efforts, the 'glades endure as one of the world's most widely recognized sources of biodiversity and an example of the fragile nature of human/ecological relations.
Citizen scientists and environmental stewards take note: Two state agencies are in the process of soliciting public comment on issues that could impact Florida's overall ecological outlook.
First up is the South Florida Water Management District, which is accepting public comments on four parcels of land in the Upper Lakes Management Region located north of Orlando. These include Tibet-Butler Preserve, Shingle Creek, Lake Marion Creek and Reedy Creek, and SUMICA.
The big Everglades python hunt starts Saturday and, so far, 670 people have signed up for the fun and a chance at cash prizes.
Among them is our intrepid U. S. Senator, Bill Nelson. He and a companion -- described in the Tampa Bay Times as a "rancher from Davie" -- will strap on pistols and machetes on Thursday to go after the huge Burmese pythons that Nelson has worried so much about, occasionally to the amusement of his Senate colleagues.
Next time you go to the Everglades you'll have the option to pick up an anti-vulture kit.
The park is offering the kits so people can protect their cars against vultures during the winter months. The black vultures sometimes rip the rubber and vinyl parts--such as windshield wipers and sunroof seals--off of cars.