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Welcome to

This website exists to assist residents of the East Corkscrew Road Rural Community in protecting and preserving the rural nature and quality of life that defines our neighborhood. The purpose is to provide timely news and information about local issues and events, as well as a means for improved communication among neighbors.

Comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged. If you have ideas, or new information to include in the site,  please e-mail us at

Scroll down to read the latest news.

Dump truck blows past schoolbus.


Dump truck races for the next load.
Heading east on Corkscrew near Flint's cowpens.
(Photo: Ernie Walker)

Jan 2013

FFD Mine: Public Hearing
Scheduled to begin at 9AM Wednesday Jan 16, 2013
at the Community Development Bldg. on Monroe St. in downtown Ft. Myers.


Hearing Watch

Southeast Lee Mining Map

Click image for larger view

FFD Mine: Public Hearing Scheduled to begin at 9AM
Wednesday Jan 16, 2013

at the Community Development Bldg. on Monroe St. in downtown Ft. Myers.

Mine applications in process:

Golf Rock Mine:

Schwab Materials II:

Cypress Bay MPD:

Corkscrew Plantation:

Troyer Brothers Excavation:

FFD MEPD (Six-L's Farms):

Estero Group Mine:

  • HEX recommends DENIAL
  • BOCC voted to DENY
  • Applicant files for relief under FLUEDRA
  • Applicant withdraws
  • 30 day period for filing Petition of appeal - Expired


How can I help?

Challenging a threat to our community's safety and quality of life requires commitment. Of course, the most important commitment needed is your time and energy; for meetings, letter writing, information gathering, communicating, and for participating in the decision-making process. Time off from work to participate in these activities will be costly for many of us, and that is appreciated by all.

It's not clear what the final financial costs will be, however it's likely they will be significant. A trust fund has been established to help distribute some of these costs. There will be a full financial accounting for those that contribute. If you feel you can contribute to the fund (any amount is fine), please make your check out to "Thomas Hart Trust Account" and write Corkscrew Mining Challenge in the memo section. Contributions may be mailed to:

Thomas Hart Trust Fund
P.O. Box 2449
Ft. Myers, FL 33902


Legislation Watch

Watch this space for 2009 Legislative Session mining-related bills...

2009 mining-related legislation:



Dec 2000 - Dec 2012


Lots of stuff happened during this time, including Lee County Comp Plan Amendments related to mining. Too much actually to catch up on here at this time.
Nov 15,
Troyer Brothers Mine Hearing:

Scheduled dates: Nov 17, 18, 19
Possibly also Dec. 7. 8. 9 (if needed).


May 15,
Lee Staff recommends DENIAL of RCH Mine rezoning - Lee County reviewed the RCH Mine and found inconsistencies with the Lee County Comprehensive Plan including:
  1. Fails to demonstrate that there will not be any adverse impacts on the area andthe County's natural and environmental resources; and
  2. Fails to demonstrate compliance with local, state, and federal air, water, and noise pollution standards; and
  3. Creates substantial potential for significant harm on adjacent land uses; and
  4. Fails to include adequate methods of assessment or management to demonstrate that there will be no negative impact to ground and surface water hydro periods, quality, and quantity; AND, has not provided assurances that the existing hydro periods will be preserved to sufficiently protect the historic
    adjacent land uses and properties; and
  5. Is potentially deficient in indigenous open space, has potential impacts to adjacent lands, has potential negative impacts to adjoining and surrounding mitigation areas, has potential negative impacts to wildlife habitat, has potential negative impact to protected species, has a reduced lake slope, and is
    inconsistent with the Lee Plan; and
  6. Has the potential to adversely impact the water recharge benefits of this area for the County's existing and future wellfield sites; and
  7. Will significantly increase the truck traffic on Corkscrew Road; and
  8. The anticipated effects of the aggregate mine use are incompatible with the existing and planned uses in the area; and
  9. Has the potential to adversely impact the public health, safety, and welfare; and
  10. Has not demonstrated that additional mining area is needed to meet the County's needs and export to other communities, while providing for the protection of the County's resources.

A short version of the staff report is available here (2MB PDF). The full version is available here (754 pages / 64MB PDF).

The RCH Mine public hearing is set to begin on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009. Other dates scheduled at this time are May 28, 29 and June 4 & 5.


Apr 29,
Southeast Lee County mining map updated - Updated map shows the seven mine applications pending on Corkscrew Road including the latest from Troyer Brothers Farms & Six-L's Farms. Generalized boundaries of lands already permitted for mining along with excavations of these properties up to 2005 are shown.


Apr 28,
Estero Group Mine withdrew their appeal under the Special Master proceeding in late January. At that point in time, they had 30 days in which to file a petition for appeal. That time limit has expired, so their only recourse will be to seek relief under the Bert Harris Private Property Rights Protection Act. The county has not received anything to date.


Jan 20,

Estero Group Mine – continuation of the Special Master hearing:

The Estero Group Mine mediation hearing will continue on Friday, January 30th beginning at 9AM. This will be the fact-finding phase of the proceeding. The Special Master has reserved only 90 minutes for testimony by “participants” - meaning members of the public who registered as participants in this proceeding. If you are a “participant” you should have received notice of this continuation by mail. Our testimony will be heard from 3:00PM to 4:30PM. The hearing will be held at the First Floor Conference Room  of the Lee County Courthouse Administration Building. You can get up to date background (included written comments by both parties) on this proceeding online at If you are a participant in this case, I hope you will plan to be there to testify between 3-4:30PM.

Note that whatever decision is rendered by the Special Master in this case, the BOCC is not legally bound by his decision.


Status of Corkscrew Road mine rezoning applications

As you know, we were successful in persuading the BOCC to adopt a moratorium on mine zoning in September 2007 to allow time to conduct a year-long planning study for the SE Lee DR/GR. This moratorium placed “on hold” the five mine zoning applications that had already been received by the county, but that had not been deemed sufficient for public hearing. Those applications were 1) Corkscrew Excavation, 2) Schwab Materials II, 3) Cypress Bay, 4) Golf Rock, and 5) Corkscrew Plantation. (See map).

The first phase of the DR/GR planning study was completed last summer by consultant Dover Kohl, and the final report was presented to the BOCC. At that time, the BOCC accepted the report and agreed in principal to the recommendation to “restrict new mining activities to the Alico mining corridor”. In addition, County staff developed a new Chapter12 of the Land Development Code which placed more stringent guidelines on new mines. These new guidelines were adopted by the BOCC on Sept. 9, 2008.

The moratorium expired on Sept. 10, 2008 and those 5 mining applicants which had submitted under the old rules were instructed to file an extension and resubmit under the new Chap. 12 guidelines. Four of those applicants have applied for extensions, while the 5th – Corkscrew Excavation (Youngquist, et al) – has sued the county over their authority to apply the new mining guidelines to an application filed under the old ones. This case is now in the hands of an administrative law judge and a decision is expected within the next 3 weeks. If the judge rules in favor of the applicant, then they will proceed to the zoning public hearing process once they are deemed by county planning staff to have met sufficiency under the old guidelines.

One aspect of the DR/GR planning study yet to be completed is a groundwater / surface water interaction modeling study. This will look at specific impacts of mining activities on water resources. The modeling report was due last October, but is now expected sometime in February.


Two new Corkscrew Road mining applications received by the County in the last 30 days

As expected, the last two remaining large landowners along Corkscrew Road have now submitted their application for mine zoning. They are already on the map linked above.

Troyer Brothers Excavation – 1800 acres – “Rezone from Agriculture District (AG-2) to Mine Excavation Planned Development (MEPD) for 1803.5 acres of land to allow mining activities (construction materials mining operation) including administrative offices and rock crushing operations. The proposed maximum mine depth is 110 feet with an estimated duration of extraction activity of 35 years. Maximum structure height is 90 feet. Blasting is a proposed development activity.”

Florida Farms Development (Six-L’s Farms) – 4,652 acres – “Rezone from Agriculture District (AG-2) to Mine Excavation Planned Development (MEPD) for 4,652.1 acres of land to allow mining activities (construction materials mining operation) including administrative offices. rock crushing operations, and plant facilities. The proposed maximum mine depth is 100 feet with an estimated duration of extraction activity of 45 years. Maximum structure height is 35 feet. Blasting is a proposed development activity.”

These two additional mines bring the total to 8 new mines covering over 16,000 acres along the Corkscrew Road corridor.


May 13,
Updates: It's been a very busy month with the legislative session, SE Lee DR/GR Planning Effort, the Estero Group Mine recommendation, and other important happenings.

Legislative Update - Mining Efforts Defeated in Tallahassee - The two Senate mining bills (SB 2406 – Bennett & SB 774 – Baker) which would have restricted local government authority over mine approvals and regulations were killed in the Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee chaired by Senator Burt Saunders. Voting to kill were Senators Burt Saunders, Charlie Justice, Nan Rich, and Paula Dockery (774 only).  

The House bill PCB ENRC 08-13 sponsored by Trudi Williams and the Env. & Nat. Res. Committee subsequently died without a companion bill. (see my News-Press editorial in response to Rep. Williams bill)

Thanks to all who used the website to contact our legislators about this bad legislation. More than 1700 people registered to use this system to send emails to each of the key decision makers. More than 20,000 emails were sent to our legislators on the mining issue, and they heard our message.

SE Lee County DR/GR Planning Sessions - Last September, the BOCC adopted a 14-point action plan to explore land use and mining issues in the SE Lee DR/GR. One of these action plan items included hiring a consultant to gather input from all DR/GR stakeholders to use in developing land use planning scenarios for the area and to recommend changes to the Lee Comp Plan.

 "The decisions made as a result of this effort will ultimately determine the future of the Corkscrew Rural Community."

The internationally renowned planning firm Dover, Kohl & Partners was selected by the county to lead the planning effort. They were in town April 16-24 to gather input from the public and landholders about the future of the DR/GR. On the 17th, they conducted a five hour "Hands-On Planning Session". There were around 75-100 people there including residents, environmental groups and agencies, county staff, engineering & planning firms, and consultants, general public, etc. Attendees were divided randomly into 10 groups. Each group was given a large map of the DR/GR and tasked with placing colored stickers on the map. Each sticker color represented one of three different land-uses: mining, conservation, and higher density residential. Each group was given different percentages of the three colors – some groups were more heavily weighted toward mining, and some toward conservation. At the end of the exercise, a spokesperson from each group presented the map and highlighted the ideas and solutions that the group considered.

The results showed surprising similarities between the 10 different tables even though each group worked on the exercise independently. Specifically, there was common line of thinking in terms of conserving connections & corridors between important habitats and between surface water flow-ways. Although not unanimous, there was also considerable agreement on the notion of restricting mining activities to the established Alico mining corridor, and encouraging expansion of existing mining developments as opposed to distributing new mining activities in new areas throughout the DR/GR. There was also general agreement on the idea of transferring allowable residential density from inside the DR/GR to areas outside areas that need the higher density development such as Bonita, Lehigh, etc.

The results were encouraging, and the mapping exercise has provided a good foundation for addressing land-use conflicts between mining, existing neighborhoods, and the environment. The consultants appear to be supportive of many of the basic principles that we’ve been suggesting for many years with regard to these issues. Of course this is just the first of many steps along the way toward securing the future of our community, but this effort seems to be going in the right direction. The consultant will continue the planning study effort through the summer.

Recommended Links:

Palm Beach County Approves two HUGE mines - Just after coming out of their county-wide mining moratorium, the Palm Beach County Board approved two mining operations totaling 11,000 acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee near Belle Glade. To get an idea of the size of these mines and how they may affect mining here in Lee County, read this excerpt from the Estero Council of Community Leaders Estero Development Report.

Florida Panther dies in DR/GR - On April 9th, the DR/GR Steering Committee heard a presentation by Dave Onorato from the Fla. Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission entitled "Florida Panthers in the DR/GR Area". His presentation highlighted the travels of a three year old male panther (FP157) throughout much of the DR/GR from the time he was captured north of Corkscrew Road on Dec 19, 2007 up until Jan 1, 2008.

Just five days after his presentation, Dave reported the death of this panther die to "Intraspecific Aggression". This is a common cause of death when young male panthers try to disperse from their home territory. Male panthers require extensive home ranges, but due to loss of habitat they are often crowded into the territory of an older dominant male who attacks and kills the younger one.

Un-collared panther using Corkscrew
 Road Wildlife Crossing
March 28, 2008. (click for larger)


  Lee County Hearing Examiner recommends DENIAL of the Estero Group Mine IPD zoning case - On Apr 4, the Lee Hearing Examiner recommended the the BOCC deny the Estero Group Mine zoning application. The basis for her decision was based on two basic principles: 1) the mine could adversely affect water quality & quantity, wildlife, and other natural resources in the DR/GR, and 2) residents of the DR/GR area would be adversely affected by the mining operation, in particular by the increased truck traffic.

The complete report from the HEX is quite interesting, and very encouraging overall.

The recommendation, if upheld by the Board of County Commissioners would allow the applicant one year to address concerns raised by the HEX and apply for another public hearing.

The BOCC is expected to vote on this case as soon as early June. All residents who testified during the public hearing are allowed to speak before the Commissioners prior to the vote.

Corkscrew Road Adopt-A-Road Cleanup Day - Mark and Carol Bryant organized a roadside cleanup day on Saturday, April 19th. Participants cleaned up litter along Corkscrew Road between Carter Road and Lazy D Farms Road. Trash bags, safety vests, and pick-up sticks were provided by the County.

L-R: Kevin Hill, Janice Hill, Travis Hill, Bill Kendall
Carol Bryant, Laurie Maguire. Photo by Mark Bryant.

If you'd like to adopt another section of Corkscrew Road, please visit the Lee County Adopt-A-Road website. There's only three rules: Participants must be 14+ years old, cleanups must be done at least 6 times per year, and at least 1/2 mile of roadway must be adopted.


Apr 3 Kottkamp: Mines are a local matter - Lt. governor says Lee officials’ argument valid - The decision to approve or deny mine applications should remain under local control, says the Florida's second-in-command. Article by Ryan Hiraki - Ft. Myers News-Press

Mines must be restored to natural state - Let me just say from the outset that I am not in favor of rock mining in Lee County's environmentally sensitive water replenishment zones. In fact, I'm fundamentally opposed. Article by Byron Stout - Ft. Myers News-Press


Apr 2 Letter: Aggregates Task Force Member Richard Grosso to Env. & Nat. Resources Council "This law is unnecessary and harmful to Florida's communities and environment". Letter from Aggregates Task Force member Richard Grosso to Rep. Stan Mayfield regarding House Bill PCB ENRC 08-13 (Resource Extraction).


Apr 1 Alert! State attempt to take over local control of mining

Your help is urgently needed with another round of emails to the Governor and other public officials in Tallahassee. Tomorrow morning the House Environment and Natural Resources Council in Tallahassee will be voting on another Aggregate Mining bill that will take away Lee County's authority over permitting and regulation of these mines and their trucks. You can read this latest mining bill here.

As you know the large landowners east of I-75 want to create a vast mine corridor in our neighborhood that will rival the Miami-Dade Lakebelt region. And they will do this in spite of its importance as a source of drinking water, its environmental, wetland and habitat sensitivity, its impact on Estero Bay, and in spite of the fact that this would destroy the quiet, peaceful neighborhood that we call home. If this legislation passes we will have lost control over our future quality of life.

Thus I would urge you to immediately go to the following website and send an email to the members of the Council and to the Governor.

Please take a few minutes to do this. It’s very easy – and the message has already been created for you. After you sign in, click on "Emails to Public Officials" tab in the upper left hand corner - that will take you to the current issues page. There are two letters ready to be sent – the first is to the Governor, and the second is to the Council. You can add or change the message as you see fit or just send it as is.

Thanks for your help.

Mar 28 Call to Action: Mining legislation -

Your help is needed now! The mining industry has hired the most powerful lobbyists in Tallahassee to persuade our legislature to create new laws which will remove local government control of mine permits. Several of these bills have already been proposed and are making their way through the process. If any of these bills become law, it will result in the transformation of Corkscrew from a rural / agricultural community into an industrial mega-mining complex.

The only way we can prevent this from moving forward is for each and every one of us to contact the Governor, House & Senate leadership, and our local representatives. We’ve made this very easy to do with just a few clicks in a web page. Please take the time to read this letter and then go to the Brooks Concerned Citizens web site to send a letter to all the decision makers in Tallahassee. And please encourage your family members to do the same.

Thank you for your help. Here's some excellent sample letters that neighbors have sent.

Here is a summary of the Strategic Aggregates Task Force Consensus Recommendations. In particular, it should be noted that the SARTF recommended to statutorily acknowledge that "The siting and permitting of mines must be compatible with Florida’s environment and communities".

Excellent letter from Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann to Senator Mike Bennett regarding preemption of local authority. Please thank Commissioner Mann for his support on this issue.


Mar 17 First International Conference on Mining Impacts - The conference held on March 15th in Punta Gorda was a great success. Participants traveled from all over the state to hear scientific presentations about adverse impacts of mining. Topics included impacts to human health, quality of life, economic impacts, upland and wetland ecosystems, and improved monitoring techniques.  Scientific presentations are available online at this site (PowerPoint and audio).

Scientist: Horse Creek monitoring a sham - A phosphate mining company's program to monitor Horse Creek for contamination is a "waste of time" because it's not designed to detect those impacts, said scientist Dr. William Dunson during a conference on mining Saturday. Dunson was one of a half-dozen environmental scientists and activists who gave presentations during the First International Conference on Mining Impacts to the Human and Natural Environments at the Best Western Waterfront. Article by Greg Martin -


Mar 13 Bill would ‘undermine’ Lee DR/GR committee - Members of the Lee County Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource Committee said it might be time to move past that phase where they all get along. Article by Charlie Whitehead - Naples Daily News

Bill would rescind county controls over limestone mining - Environmental groups oppose state 'pre-emption' power. A bill proposed by a Southwest Florida senator would go back in time to strip counties of actions they took since March 2007 to prevent limestone gravel mines. Article by Greg Martin - Sun-Herald

Scientists to discuss mining impacts - It's one thing to claim mining excavations are causing adverse impacts. It's another to prove it. A group of scientists, environmental consultants and environmental activists will soon share with the public what they know of those impacts, and what they don't know, at a public conference set for March 15 at Best Western in Punta Gorda. Article by Greg Martin - Sun-Herald


Mar 9 Wetlands permitting bill is criticized - Environmentalists fear shortened review process. House Bill 147 would speed up decisions on state wetlands permits is raising concerns among environmentalists who say it would provide less review of some undesirable industries. - Article by Bruce Ritchie -

Mar 6 Scientists to discuss mining impacts - It's one thing to claim mining excavations are causing adverse impacts. It's another to prove it. Article by Greg Martin - Sun-Herald.

The First International Conference on Mining Impacts to the Human and Natural Environments will be held on March 15th in Punta Gorda.


Mar 5 Neighbors adopt portion of Corkscrew Road - Corkscrew neighbors Mark and Carol Bryant are showing their community pride and doing their part to help keep Corkscrew beautiful. They have adopted the section of Corkscrew Road between Happy Dale Ln. and Lazy D Farms Rd. through the Lee County Adopt-A-Road program.

If you'd like to adopt another section of Corkscrew Road, please visit the Lee County Adopt-A-Road website. There's only three rules: Participants must be 14+ years old, cleanups must be done at least 6 times per year, and at least 1/2 mile of roadway must be adopted.


Mar 2

Estero Group Mine Zoning

The public hearing for zoning of this mine concluded on October 10th after 13 long days of testimony. We’ve been expecting a recommendation from the Hearing Examiner (HEX) since the first of the year, but we’ve  learned that the huge volume of testimony and exhibits are still being reviewed. Once the HEX submits her recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners, a public hearing for a final vote on the matter will be scheduled, usually a couple of months later. Your presence will be needed at this meeting. We’ll keep you posted on the dates and times.

Our attorney, Tom Hart did an outstanding job of representing the interests of the community and citizens of Lee County. In addition, he recognizes the difficulty of raising funds for a legal challenge by a sparsely populated rural neighborhood. Consequently, Tom has given us a very significant and generous break in his billing for our case, and we sincerely thank him for that. Nevertheless, we have an outstanding balance of about $4500 that we’d like to take care of before the BOCC vote. If you can help with this in any way, please mail a check to: Thomas Hart Trust Fund, P.O. Box 2449, Ft. Myers, FL 33902 and mark it “Estero Group IPD”. We appreciate your help.


Lee Mining Moratorium Status

On September 11, 2007, the Lee BOCC approved a 14-point action plan to explore land use and mining issues in the SE Lee DR/GR. One of these action plan items included a one year moratorium on new mine rezoning applications in the DR/GR.  

Despite warnings, threats, and “shots across the bow” from all corners of the mining industry, including FDOT, and Senator Mike Bennett, the Lee BOCC did the right thing by adopting the moratorium at the final public hearing on the matter on December 4th, 2007. It will expire on September 2008.  

The most notable exception to the moratorium is the Estero Group Mine which was already deemed sufficient and had begun the public hearing process. The moratorium was adopted to allow Lee County Staff and DR/GR stakeholders ample time to focus efforts on conducting a land use planning study and completing a comprehensive master planning effort for the SE Lee County DR/GR.

DR/GR Ad Hoc Steering Committee

The DR/GR Action Plan called for the creation of a Steering Committee to assist the County Staff and consultant with the DR/GR study and help achieve a balanced result. Fifteen members were appointed by the BOCC (3 by each commissioner) to represent: 1) miners / large landowners, 2) residents, and 3) other interests (i.e., environmental, general public, smart growth). The committee began meeting regularly  on January 9, 2008.

I submitted a letter of interest and was appointed by Commissioner Mann to serve. The committee appears to be well balanced with equal representation of all DR/GR stakeholder groups.

The consultant selected by Lee County to conduct the DR/GR study is Dover, Kohl and Partners of Coral Gables. One of the local consultants who will assist Dover-Kohl in the study effort is Spikowski Planning Associates. Bill Spikowski developed a DR/GR rural planning alternatives report as part of the Estero Community Improvement Foundation’s Dunn Foundation Grant. The report was presented to Lee County in November 2007 and will be included in the study. It’s available online for review here: “Toward a Greener Lee: Effective Planning Alternatives for Rural Lee County” (4.6 MB PDF).

The challenge in the coming months for county staff, consultant, and steering committee will be to strike a balance between the various interests and emerge from the effort with a workable plan for the future of the DR/GR.

Steering Committee meeting schedules, agendas, minutes, documents, and audio recordings are available online here.  Joan LaGuardia, Communications Manager for Lee DCD has done an outstanding job maintaining this site, and I encourage you to visit often to stay up to date on the committee’s progress.

The DR/GR Steering Committee normally meets twice per month at 1:30 PM on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at the DCD Building on Monroe Street downtown. The next scheduled meeting is March 12th. The public is invited.


DR/GR Steering Committee Bus Tour - Feb. 27th, 2008

County Staff organized a tour of the DR/GR for the steering committee on 2/27/08. Click the link to read more about the tour and my personal impressions.


Strategic Aggregates Review Task Force

The Strategic Aggregates Review Task Force (SARTF), was formed last year by the Florida Legislature under CS/HB 985. In brief, the purpose of the Task Force was to evaluate the availability of construction aggregate and related land use practices statewide, and make recommendations to the Governor’s Office by February 1st, 2008. More info about the SARTF.

One of Governor Crist’s appointees to the Task Force was attorney Richard Grosso, Everglades Law Center. Richard is a strong environmental and growth management advocate with experience in our local area. He has worked closely in the past with Nancy Payton and the Florida Wildlife Foundation. Nancy arranged to have Richard meet us in Estero where we briefed him on the mining development issues in the DR/GR. We then gave him a tour of the Corkscrew Road area, including the SF Water Management District’s Corkscrew Mitigation Bank, as well as a tour of the existing Alico Road mining area. Richard agreed to do what he could to ensure that local issues like ours are considered by the Task Force in their deliberations.

The 19 member Task Force held a series of meetings beginning December 4th, 2007 in Tampa, and concluding in Tallahassee on January 31st, 2008. I was invited by the Task Force to make a presentation at their Tampa meeting. You can view my presentation online here: “Mining in Lee County: A Rural Community Planning Perspective”.

Also, you may find comments submitted by Dr. Sydney Bacchus, Hydroecologist of particular interest. Dr. Bacchus was an expert witness who testified on behalf of Corkscrew residents in the recent Estero Group Mine zoning public hearing.

The Task Force issued their Final Report and Recommendations on February 1, 2008. Fortunately, they were not able to agree on the proposal that the state remove county authority for mine permitting (preemption). We were fortunate to have had Richard Grosso on the Task Force, along with fellow appointee Eric Draper from Florida Audubon Society. Together they helped ensure that the recommendations were far less threatening than they could have been.

The Task Force Chairman presented their final report to the House Infrastructure Committee on February 21, 2008. The Chairman of the House Infrastructure Committee is Representative Richard Glorioso (R), Hillsborough County, and Vice Chair is Gary Aubuchon (R), Lee County.

Despite the fact that the Task Force couldn’t agree on the preemption issue, it’s almost a sure bet that the bad mining language will find its way into legislation this year.


Upcoming Legislative Session

I’m actively tracking the Aggregate Task Force report along with any other mining-related bill proposals through the upcoming legislative session in Tallahassee. I’ll keep you informed – mostly via email – whenever there is news to share.

We’ll also be using the Brooks Concerned Citizens website mailing system as an easy way for you to send timely emails to legislators and committee members who will be considering the mining legislation. Please register at that site today – it will save time later when you want to email the decision-makers in Tallahassee.

Based on a recommendation from Eric Draper, Audubon of Florida, we sent a letter to Senator Burt Saunders asking that he request Senate President Ken Pruitt to direct all mining-related legislation to the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee for review and approval. Senator Saunders chairs this committee. Thanks to Nicole Ryan of the Conservancy for drafting the letter. And thanks also to the 16 co-signing organizations who share our concerns about pending mining legislation.


First Mining-Related Bill Filed – Senator Bennett – SB 2406 - 2/28/08

As we assumed, a bill (SB 2406) has been filed by Senator Bennett which includes language that would remove county government authority over mining in the DR/GR. The report comes from the Legislative Staff Attorney for the Florida Association of Counties. We will be including the legislators who will be considering this bill and others in the upcoming email campaign. Follow the link above to read the FAC report on the bill.


Mining Impacts Conference

Mark your calendar for Saturday March 15th, and register online for the upcoming First International Conference on Mining Impacts to the Human and Natural Environments. The conference will be held at the Edison College Punta Gorda Campus from 8AM to 6 PM. The conference will focus on adverse impacts of mining that are not being addressed by regulatory agencies and municipalities, as well as various means for improving impacts monitoring.

The conference is organized by the Univ. of Georgia’s Center for Remote Sensing and Mapping Science, the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, and the Responsible Growth Management Coalition, Inc. The conference is free and open to the public, however online registration is required as space is limited.


Corkscrew Road Cemex Mine to cease operations

You may have noticed the recent dismantling of the Cemex Mine processing facilities on Corkscrew Road next to Bella Terra. I was informed by Lee County Staff that Cemex’ operating permit had expired and they’ve been notified that they have to shut down by April or re-apply for an extension to their original permit. Apparently, they’re choosing to vacate.  I’d guess that their original zoning and development order requires that they complete some sort of reclamation of the abandoned pits and surrounding lands, but I haven’t seen the permit. Will update with more info when available.





"Old news" can be found here in the archives.

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