A re-post from the archives:
It feels very bad to me to know that the fate of the Everglades is in the hands of the notoriously and historically disreputable Miami-Dade County Commissioners. I'd like to hope that their bad days are past.
It's tough to be an ideological purist in real life. I've known Libertarians who went nuts when a neighbor put in a tennis court too close to his property line. And it is true that we all have a stake in the land. Developers, and the folks they sell to - homeowners and stores and businesses - will always want more if there is profit in it; conservationists will always want more of which to be good stewards; farmers - and I don't mean small family farms in Fla - will always want what they need. So it's always a battle for conservationists. (I don't mean environmentalists, whatever they are.)
My solution tends to be to urge groups to assemble themselves to buy up land, or to buy up the development rights to land, if they want to protect and preserve it for the future. States, land trusts, conservation groups, ad hoc groups with an interest in a specific piece of land. This can be done without a sacrifice of property rights.
BUT it is best done BEFORE there is economic pressure on the land. Unfortunately, people tend to be of the Big Yellow Taxi school: "You don't know what you got til it's gone. You take paradise, put up a parking lot."
I have no doubt that one of my literary heroes, Carl Hiassen, is on the story. I missed him on 60 Minutes last week, but was told that he is as funny in person as he is in print. If you haven't read him, especially his early handful of books, they are absurdist, black humor mysteries set in South Florida, with memorably strange characters, many of them deeply depraved, corrupt, and plain evil.
Carl cares about conservation and he loves Florida, and, bless his heart, he remains a reporter in Miami, so I will count on him to take care of this story, and this problem.