2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 15 Sep 2003 14:21:00 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] State, military interests converge on flight path
State, military interests converge on flight path
Plan to conserve Panhandle land pleases many
By Bruce Ritchie
September 14, 2003

The military pilots zooming in at more than 400 mph from the Gulf of
Mexico are moving too fast to see the black bears, Chapman's
rhododendron and tropical waxweed west of Apalachicola.

Flying as low as 300 feet over what scientists say is one of the
nation's most important ecological regions, the pilots turn west near
Blountstown. Other planes, flying at higher altitudes, continue through
the area toward Eglin Air Force Base, where they fire missiles or drop
laser-guided bombs and other "smart" weapons on a test range.

Along with the rest of the Florida Panhandle, the area west of the
Apalachicola River also lies within the path of development. Newcomers
to other areas of the nation with bases have raised complaints about
noise, leading to restrictions on training and operations.

Before growth comes to the Panhandle, state and military officials and
The Nature Conservancy environmental group want to protect military
training while preserving the region's wildlife. They are working to
conserve a flight path that is 100 miles long and 10 miles wide,
covering about 750,000 acres.

"If we can all reach agreement on this concept, the plan is for us all
to go out and seek the resources to make this happen," said Jesse
Borthwick, a senior environmental scientist at Eglin Air Force Base.

This article can be viewed at:

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