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Bruce Ritchie - page 5

Bruce Ritchie has 127 articles published.

FWC approves bear hunting proposal, final vote in June

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Florida’s wildlife commission voted Wednesday to move forward with a rule to allow bear hunting in response to bear attacks and other encounters in urban areas. Florida had nearly 3,000 black bears in 2002, and they were removed from the state threatened species list in 2012. Bear hunting was banned by the state in 1994 largely in response to complaints that it was inhumane. The state was exploring bear hunting before several bear attacks in central Florida in 2014 led…

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Dramatic increase in conflicts led to bear hunting proposal, FWC chairman says

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Florida is the only state with more than 600 black bears that doesn’t allow bear hunting, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff said in opening remarks during a commission meeting on Wednesday in Tallahassee. And 32 of the nation’s 41 states with black bears allow hunting, said Diane Eggeman, director of FWC’s Division of Hunting & Game Management. After a 20-year hunting ban, Florida is considering allowing bear hunting in response to nuisance bear complaints and attacks during the past…

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Senate amendment requires review of state parks for ag use or disposal

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Despite objections from environmentalists, a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday amended a state lands bill to require that state parks be reviewed to determine whether they could be used by “low impact agriculture” or whether the state still needs them. SB 7086 is preferred by environmental groups compared to the House version of the bill, which would allow the Cabinet to give away parks and other state lands to adjacent landowners who agree to conserve it. Both bills also would establish low impact…

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Senate bill amended to ban fracking during study, rule-making

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A bill that would regulate oil and gas hydraulic fracturing was amended by a Senate committee on Tuesday to place a moratorium on the activity until after a study is completed in 2016. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “high-pressure well-stimulation” or “fracking,” is a process involving the use of water, sand and chemicals to extract oil and gas from rock. Supporters say SB 1468 is needed to provide regulation for fracking like that which occurred in 2013 in Collier County. The Florida Department…

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Growth bill headed to House floor with opposition from cities, counties

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A controversial House growth management bill passed its final committee stop on the way to the House floor on Tuesday. HB 933, which originally combined seven separate House growth management bills, includes provisions eliminating the “development of regional impact” review process for larger developments and requiring a property rights element in local government comprehensive land-use plans. The bill was amended Tuesday to remove a section that would extend a loan program from clean energy and wind resistance to ground subsidence…

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Conservative group opposes solar amendment following Tampa debate

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After a debate this past month, a Tampa Bay group that says it promotes a return to constitutional government and free markets has come out against a proposed constitutional amendment that would encourage the use of solar energy. Floridians for Solar Choice proposes a constitutional amendment that would promote local, small-scale solar energy production and prohibit barriers to solar energy. The group has collected enough petition signatures for Florida Supreme Court review but still needs more than 600,000 to get…

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Miami’s Freedom Tower under water by 2060? Unlikely, scientist says

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Could the Freedom Tower in Miami, where U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday announced his bid for president, be underwater by 2060? Before Rubio announced on Monday that he was running for president in 2016, NextGen Climate suggested the building could be underwater by 2060. The political action committee said Florida is on the front line of climate change and called on the Republican senator from Miami to take a stronger stance on climate change. “Florida’s rising sea levels jeopardize the…

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