Save Your Rights to Access Public Lands
Public Meeting – Thursday, June 21, 2012 Brevard County Commission Chambers
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, FL 32940
Moccasin Island, an approximately 3000 acre tract east of Lake Winder and part of the River Lakes Conservation Area in Brevard County, has been open to waterfowl hunters as a “walk-in only” access area since 2007 without need of quotas or restrictions. It is currently an unmanaged piece of property with no other manipulations scheduled than bi-yearly burning or mowing during drought conditions.
The entirety of the tract is restricted to non-motorized traffic and may be accessed either by boat from the St. Johns River or by a 1 ¾ mile walk/bicycle ride from the end of Wickham Rd. Once at the boundaries of the property, hunters must walk, wade or paddle into the interior of the property and exit the same way.
Prior to the property being opened to public access, Moccasin Island's current management plan was brought before the public through the WRAC meeting process where it was discussed and agreed upon. Since its inception in 2007, this property has been accessible to all hunters and passive users alike, including waterfowlers, big game hunters, small game hunters, birders, kayakers, hikers and bass fishermen.
Recently, a group of individuals has asked St. Johns River Water Management District to consider restricting access in the Moccasin Island tract from its current (7) seven-day a week access down to (3) three-days a week for waterfowl hunters only.
Among the many issues cited in the proposal to reduce hunting, the plan specifically identifies the following concerns:
A future shift in the wetland and population dynamic for this area related to the encroachment of development,degradation of habitat, loss of lands and establishment of buffer zones.
Future conflicts between hunters, passive users and residents in the surrounding areas.
Maintaining, preserving and improving the quality of hunting within the expanse of the Moccasin Island complex.
While all of these problems surely loom large for the future, none of these issues can be remedied by simply restricting access, especially when it is specific only to waterfowl hunters.
Restricting access WILL NOT:
improve or increase habitat
save more lands for recreation
preserve your rights to hunt
resolve conflicts between hunters and other users in the future
Strengthen our ability to keep hunting areas open.
Restricting access is not the answer. It is a ploy to limit use so that a few people can shoot more big ducks.
If you cannot attend the meeting please, write to the SJRWMD Governing Board and the district staff opposing any and all restrictions or closures as they are unwarranted and will only create greater conflict among hunters.
Your assistance and support is greatly appreciated.
774 Donau Ave NW
Palm Bay, Fl 32907
4607 Sun Valley Dr.
Tampa, FL 33624
ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARD & STAFF
Lad Daniels, Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org
John A. Miklos, Vice chairman email@example.com
Douglas C. Bournique, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryam H. Ghyabi, Treasurer email@example.com
Charles “Chuck” Drake firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard G. Hamann email@example.com
George W. Robbinsgrobbins@sjrwmd.com
Fred N. Roberts Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org
W. Leonard Wood email@example.com
Robert Christianson(staff) firstname.lastname@example.org
Gian Basili (staff)email@example.com