Florida is my home, but it is changing. From an early age, my parents taught me to respect it, and when growing up in the Miami area I learned to hunt and fish. In the 1960s, before the development surge occurred in South Florida, getting outdoors was easy, and it came naturally.
In a recent interview with “Florida Wildlife” magazine, which commemorated the start of my fourth term as chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), I spoke about how important it is for my children to grow up outdoors, just as it was for me. I have dedicated myself to bringing this same passion for the outdoors to future generations. One of my first initiatives with the FWC led to creation of the “Take a Kid Fishing” (MyFWC.com/Fishing/take-a-kid) fishing Web page.
In the seven years I’ve been with the Commission, I’ve continued to focus on not only conservation of wildlife and their habitats, but also people’s use and enjoyment of those resources. When Gov. Crist recently asked all state agencies to highlight several initiatives they were proud of and felt needed his support, the FWC chose two.
Florida's Wildlife Legacy Initiative is an FWC program that seeks to prevent wildlife from becoming imperiled and more costly to protect. The initiative emphasizes proactive work by creating partnerships to conserve Florida’s wildlife and their habitats that have been identified in the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.
Another project – “Get Outdoors Florida!” – is…