Judge Orders Emergency Halt To Clearing Of Rare Miami Forest Targeted For Walmart

Dec 8, 2017

Bulldozers downing trees in pine rockland targeted for a Walmart-anchored shopping center were ordered to stop work Friday after a federal judge issued an emergency injunction sought by environmentalists fighting to save the vanishing forest.

Miami district court Judge Ursula Ungaro issued the order just hours after the Center for Biological Diversity and three other groups sued to overturn a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision earlier this week that cleared the way for the mall, 900 apartments and a parking lot. The land near Zoo Miami had long been targeted for conservation and is part of what was once one of the largest tracts of pine rockland, a globally imperiled forest, outside Everglades National Park.

In her ruling, Ungaro said the plaintiffs showed a likelihood of winning their case and that ongoing work could cause irreparable harm.

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