“Teddy, Dante, Where Are You?”


I’m looking everywhere but can’t find you, or anyone like you.

Either of you would have made short work of the nonsensical no-fishing zone proposals facing Biscayne National Park and some other federal waters.

Teddy Roosevelt passed through long before I was issued. And Dante Fascell I had the pleasure of seeing off and on at lunch near our office in South Miami two decades back.

Teddy is known for fostering the national parks, including use of their wildlife.

Dante was considered the father of Biscayne National Park, first termed a national monument. He always made it clear that family fishing always would one of the main treasures in the park.

Always, that is, till now, perhaps.

Once again, a coterie of inexperienced young bureaucrats and an anti-fishing biologist or two are attempting to ram through a new management plan that includes a 16-mile-plus no fishing zone plus other severe restrictions off Miami.

As covered in this issue’s On the Conservation Front, the vastly changed park service is pushing aside generations of wise-use conservation policies and trying to install no-touch preservationism.

“Well, we’ll see about that,” Dante probably would have said with a chuckle.

The longtime congressman would have been especially miffed over the current park service’s skimpy and outdated research that fails to even acknowledge all the management gains that have taken place under today’s state regulations.

Apparently we’re supposed to believe we just imagined all those fish of dozens of species we caught on the patch reefs north of Pacific Light. Should we prohibit future families from the same recreational activity?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said, back when it went along reluctantly with three Tortugas area no-fishing zones, that there would be no more. The FWC is sticking to that position, we understand, but the federal gummint perhaps can steam roller the state as well.

Well, there are some months (no one knows how many) before a decision will be made by unknown parties to the north. We’ll find out when it suits them.

Teddy and Dante, you’re missed badly. FS