Stick to the science on panthers.
Tampa Bay Times editorial
Here is the chronological order of how it works in Florida:
1. Make a generous donation to Governor Rick Scott;
(I should pause right here and remind you that our esteemed governor, Ranger Rick, says he's not a scientist, for sure he's not an environmentalist and for damn sure he's not much of a governor.)
2. Get Scott to appoint you to a state board or commission;
3. Become a self-proclaimed expert in whatever that state board or commission has jurisdiction;
4. Get the state policy changed to suit yourself and protect your own interest.
The folks who run Florida do stupid stuff.
That's a fact.
How else could one explain appointing construction tycoon to head a healthcare commission? How else could one explain a healthcare commission with only one healthcare professional on it?
We'll just call it what it is: The man who pays the piper in Florida calls the tune.
In 2012 governor Scott appointed south Florida rancher Liesa Priddy to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and, as one might expect, Priddy has become an expert on our beloved state animal, the Florida Panther.
It appears the panther is not so beloved by rancher Priddy who claims to have lost 10 calves to the beasts in the past two years.
I have considerable sympathy for Priddy. Before moving to Florida we farmed boer goats in Illinois and they were valuable. Believe it or not, there have been boer goats that sold for $50,000, maybe more.
In Illinois panthers were not the problem, coyotes were. Before we began raising Great Pyrenees guard dogs the coyotes killed some nice goats. Florida is likely too hot for the pyrs but llamas might do the trick.
It seems Priddy has convinced the commission's executive director Nick Wiley that the commission shouldn't be about protecting the panther but, instead, should be focusing on protecting the rancher from the panther.
Similar to the situation with bears in Florida, nobody seems to know how many of the panthers there are. Unlike the Florida bear population, the panther is an endangered species and it seems Priddy and Wiley would like the endangered designation dropped and put a target on the panther's ass.
Fortunately, Floridians who care about such things have become so outraged that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has put any action on hold until September.
If I were a panther, I would be worried.