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Fight over Everglades refuge pits Florida against feds

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

South Florida water officials are threatening to cancel a lease with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over management of a 144,000-acre wildlife refuge in the Everglades.

The Miami Herald reports that the South Florida Water Management District owns the land occupied by the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, but the federal agency operates the refuge.

State water officials claim the federal agency has done a lousy job of maintaining the refuge, especially when it comes to controlling a fern that has spread throughout the Everglades.

But supporters of the refuge say the threat is more about politics than anything.

They say state water officials just want to end federal meddling in the refuge, and that would give them more control over setting water quality standards.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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