Tri-County Working Group Update March 2016

Dunnellon Public Library was the new evening meeting place Tuesday, February 16 for the Tri-county Working Group. The meeting welcomed some several new visitors to the group who were interested in our activities.

To begin our meeting with positive news, we recognized the new national monuments that President Obama designated in the California desert, encompassing nearly 1.8 million acres of America’s public lands. It is important to celebrate good environmental progress when it occurs!

We discussed some of our local concerns. Janet Barrow, a Dunnellon resident and visitor to our working group shared her experience in presenting her concerns about the Sabal Trail pipeline to our area.  She lives on the huge Flying P Ranch and is worried about its effects on sinkholes, Rock Springs on the property, and the health of wildlife.  She reminded the Marion County commissioners earlier that day that most of the jobs the pipelines brings will be temporary and the few permanent ones will be outside of our county. She will follow up with individual meetings with three of the county commissioners. We applaud Janet’s efforts.

We touched on other local concerns—Amendment 1 spending, the Save Our Parks campaign and the new toll highway proposed through Citrus and Marion County on its way to Jacksonville.   Members will mull over how to deal with these issues and we will continue discussion and deliberation next month.

Kathryn Taubert reported that 23 Water Works presentations have been scheduled in the three county area. All presentations have pairs of presenters who will discuss them with the public.

Gordon Hart and Tom Kane along with Jon Brainard were members of the solar energy committee that are working on a new solar energy PowerPoint for the Sierra group. Tom outlined some of the areas that were discussed at the first committee meeting, the challenges of climate change and shared that Kathryn Taubert had summarized our goals along with some possible objectives moving forward.

Kathryn Taubert spoke about the new online drawing/fundraiser that was developed Whitey Markle’s small fund raising committee.   Please see her article on the fund raising event for details.

The next meeting of the Tri-county Working Group will be at the Crystal River Preserve State Park on March 15 at 10 a.m.   The public is invited.