Dear Panther Advocates:
You will recall that in June, Defenders (with agency sponsorship from FWS) submitted a proposal to the Florida Department of Transportation for Transportation Enhancement (TE) funding. We submitted a proposal for a panther crossing in an area in Big Cypress National Preserve that is particularly deadly for panthers and other wildlife at Turner River. On Thursday we learned that FDOT has decided to move forward with the initial phase of the Turner River Bridge project (crossing concepts and design, environmental considerations, public access and involvement issues) in their FY 08/09 work plan.
It looks like the crossing is intended to go in when the bridge is to be replaced in the next 10-12 years with bridge replacement funds and enhancement funds.
These crossings take ages to get put in but at least we will be slated into FDOT work plans, which is essential.
I want to thank you for your support for this project and hope you'll stay involved once the public involvement process is initiated.
All the best,
Defenders of Wildlife
233 Third Street North Suite 201
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
(727) 823-3888 (Tel)
(727) 823-3873 (Fax)