Developers, landowners create panther protection plan

COLLIER COUNTY: Eight panthers have been killed in Florida since the start of the year, many of them in our part of the state. Now there’s a new campaign to keep the endangered panther safe.

“Preserving Florida panther habitat is a tremendous challenge,” said Nancy Payton of the Florida Wildlife Federation.

How to take on that challenge is something developers and wildlife experts didn’t agree on until now.

“Traditionally, landowners and conservationists have met in the courtroom, not in the conference room,” said Payton.

The innovative program designed to help grow the panther population was unveiled.

“We think we can develop something that’s going to be better for panthers, while at the same time benefitting land owners,” said Tom Jones of Barron Collier Properties.

By creating new development fees on property in eastern Collier County, supporters hope $150 million can be raised to help restore panther habitats.

“It could be used for wildlife crossings, for buffering, fencing,” said Jones.

Being hit by cars, as well as continued development, especially in eastern Collier County, are two of the biggest threats to panthers. Experts say the new agreement would better protect panthers.

“If you’re going to have a sustainable population, you’ve got to have a lot of land for panthers to roam,” said

That’s exactly what supporters say the panther protection program will provide.

It still needs county, state, and federal approval, but could be in place within the next two years.


  • Show Comments (2)

  • John Dwyer

    These corporate assurances "the panther protection program" are masking the true intent of the Collier families and their friends making lots and lots of additional money. The "kindly" attitudes toward rescuing the Florida Panther from extinction are a wholly false front for intense development of thousands of currently untouched acres. Add the proposed horizontal oil wells Collier Families plans for the Sunniland Trend and we are back to the Deltona Corporation's sea to sea wasteland. Watch the new city of Big Cypress rise amidst the incredible biodiversity of Florida's western Everglades. The natural lay of the land rises to a maximum 23 feet above sea level, slight variations in elevation, drainage and hydroperiod have created a complex mix of clearly defined habitats found nowhere else on the planet. This area is slated to become tick-tackyville with high rises that will dwarf the 23 feet. It will become the dead land, the cactus land where stone images are raised to receive the supplications of dead men's hands under the twinkle of a fading star.

  • Terry Ann Neumann

    Yes john it does appear that they are at it again greedy bastards all ! I should be back for September and protests! And campaigns too totally into it will contact all the state wildlife workers through wiggins pass beach! Lol Terry in Thailand head to Bangkok Saturday night ;48 hours then 3 days. Bangkok actually a small village on the. Water. Fly too Houston homeofevil Haliburton! Mr. Oil…

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