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Pine Rockland Forest
Pave paradise and put up a Walmart parking lot:
One of the world’s rarest forests, a section of Miami-Dade County’s last intact tracts of endangered pine rockland, is getting a new resident: a Walmart.

About 88 acres of rockland, a globally imperiled habitat containing a menagerie of plants, animals and insects found no place else, was sold this month by the University of Miami to a Palm Beach County developer. To secure permission for the 158,000-square-foot box store, plus an LA Fitness center, Chik-fil-A and Chili’s restaurants and about 900 apartments, the university and the developer, Ram, agreed to set aside 40 acres for a preserve.

Area scientists and nature lovers are protesting the decision:
“You wonder how things end up being endangered? This is how. This is bad policy and bad enforcement. And shame on UM,” said attorney Dennis Olle, a board member of Tropical Audubon and the North American Butterfly Association, who wrote to Florida’s lead federal wildlife agent Friday demanding an investigation.

The university said in a statement that it is committed to protecting the forests — only about 2,900 acres of rockland are left outside Everglades National Park — and helped execute plans for the preserve, but would not respond to questions.

The Miami Herald has more.

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 09:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Florida, North & Central Florida Kossacks, Team DFH, Protest Music, DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, EcoJustice, and Daily Kos.

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