July 22, 2015
Our magnificent Florida Panther
Photo credit: Florida Panther page
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a whim is:
” a capricious or eccentric and often sudden idea or turn of the mind.”
Lately, it appears that Nick Wiley is having a turn of the mind, or rethinking many things, including, Panthers, Black Bears, to hunt or not to hunt and the true core meaning of the agency that he is the head of, the FWC, or Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
If you are Nick Wiley, rethinking can and does mean many things.
He has recently had secret meetings without other consul, other than that of a South Florida Rancher named Liesa Priddy, who was appointed to the Commission by Governor Scott in 2012 for the usual 5 year term, and together they decided that a new plan should be put in place for what until now has been the most critically Endangered Mammal in the country and who also happens to be our State Mammal, the Florida Panther.
The reaction to the news of the covert meeting between these two and their new plan, prompted an instant state-wide outrage and further discussion was put off until September.
For the past 20-30 years, people and groups all over this state have done everything to save and protect and preserve this beautiful animal and the idea of reducing, changing or even God Forbid, eliminating any/all protections for them, is making Floridians see red, blood-red.
If you would like to talk to Nick about his new plan for the Florida Panther, you can reach him at:
Many are fearing that the fate of the Panther may soon follow the same path as the recently doomed and set to be hunted in October, Florida Black Bear.
I got chills when I read a remark by Wiley, in one of the stories below, saying that they will not be hunting the Panther, they may just need to shoot one occasionally.
Just three short years ago, this same man swore on the phone to me, after I called raising hell over the 8 Black Bears that had been killed in Orlando when stupid people, did stupid things, that they would never be hunted!
Right now, the news and reaction to Wiley’s new plan, has been as expected, causing many to now question just who he has become and if the welfare of the states wildlife really are still his top priority.
When the leader of a large Government Agency such as this, has secret/covert meetings and makes decisions with no inclusion of those who know more about the subject, it is not a very good sign.
Has Wiley decided to take his life in a new direction and is he preparing himself for the day when he will leave the Agency and go into business with those whose opinions he clearly seems to value so much right now?
What ever his future may hold, right now what worries those of us here who truly do love and respect Florida’s Wildlife, the biggest question is, does Nick Wiley need to find employment elsewhere?
At this moment, many in Florida would give a resounding YES to that question because the lives of our precious wildlife here should NOT be subject to Wiley’s Whims!
Places to learn more:
Florida panthers better learn to duck
FWC Revisits Florida Panther Recovery Plan
Does Florida have enough panthers?
Improving Prospects for Florida’s Panthers
Florida Panthers Are Plentiful Enough, State Officials Say
Over scientists’ objections, rancher pushes panther policy
State suggests review of Florida panther status