FLORIDIANS-Help the Alligators
I’ve written several times about the abysmal treatment of alligators in Florida, and was contacted by the Associated Press to comment. At one point, readers wrote to me daily asking what they could do.
Finally, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced their intention to review the current alligator management system in Florida (cuz, you know, they need us to manage them). The FWC has developed an online survey, which you can also print out and send in, "to help guide your input relative to an established set of goals and objectives [the FWC] believes is important regarding the alligator resource."
The alligator resource? What the heck does that mean? I guess it means we think they’re good for something; they can provide us with something we need. Profit from hunting licenses, maybe? Skin for handbags and shoes? Meat for yummy soups and burgers? Wrestling partners?
Anyway, Floridians have until September 29 to fill out the survey, and it will be presented at the December 2006 meeting of the FWC, and between December and March, changes will be proposed and made (if approved). You can find the survey here.
There are "in excess of 1 million alligators" in Florida, according to the survey. It’s a number the FWC believes is "sufficiently plentiful . . . to allow the sustainable harvest of [the alligators] and their eggs."
Sufficiently plentiful to allow the sustainable harvest? Didn’t you think that sentence would end up being about corn, soybeans, or oranges? It’s a wee bit disturbing to talk about sentient beings the same way you talk about crops.
I could deconstruct the entire "Stakeholder Survey," but that might cause some kind of bias, and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize the process in any way.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE SURVEY if you live in Florida, so the hunters, trappers, and breeders aren’t the only voices the commission hears. Questions about the survey can be directed to Mr. Harry J. Dutton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-410-0656, ext. 17279.