DeSoto Commissioners On The Hot Seat

Letter to the Editor of the Arcadian April 26, 2018 posing several very important questions.

Come clean, DeSoto County commissioners

Mine reclamation is risky business. It’s like building a home on a Superfund site.

DeSoto County … protect yourself from phosphate mining. Rodeo arenas, (McSwain Park) splash-pad, donations and tax revenue are being accepted to allow Mosaic to pollute your water, land and air.

This is no laughing matter, commissioners. This is all common sense. Mosaic is giving you money for your water to dilute their carcinogens into the Horse Creek for the next 30 years.

Commissioners, tell me what the Peace River and Horse Creek will look like after Mosaic mines in Pine Level for 30 years.

Buddy Mansfield, Terry Hill, Judy Schaefer, Elton Langford and Jim Selph, all five of you will be responsible for the degradation of the Horse Creek. And if a cancer cluster should arise in Hidden Acres among the residents, you will be responsible for that too.

Remember Hidden Acres floods easily; Mosaic will not be able to keep their toxic chemicals off their property during a flood. Plus, decades of Mosaic diluting their pollution into the Horse Creek will contaminate the drinking water.

Phosphate mining is dirty business; there is nothing safe or clean about radioactive waste!

Mari Hollingsworth

Boone, North Carolina

Letter to Arcadian – Be Accountable!

May we all stand and be accountable

Topic of the day … is phosphate [stripand- rape] mining good or bad for DeSoto County? Will the citizens be heard, or will their pleas fall on deaf ears dull of hearing? Will it be profit over people, again?

I wanted to make a public announcement that I pray for this county and all that goes on here. Nothing is done or said without God knowing. May we all stand and be accountable for ourselves now and for the future of DeSoto County and the surrounding county, especially those who get their drinking water from the low river/ Horse Creek through the Peace River/ Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority. Just how many wells, wetlands, flag ponds, sloughs, named and unnamed stream tributaries to the Peace River and Horse Creek, are within the proposed mining boundary in DeSoto County?

There is a scheduled planning/zoning board meeting in Arcadia on June 5-6. Please attend, thank you.

Molly Bowen

Arcadia

Letter to the Arcadian – Fight to Keep Quality of Life

 

Fight to keep quality of life

Editor:

Water, it’s about water. What you drink, bath in and fill your pools with.

Horse Creek flows into the Peace River above the water plant. The poisons will end up in your water my Charlotte County friends. It will flow into the Harbor and kill it. What will that do to Sunseekers?

This proposed mining is not a Desoto County problem. It is a Florida problem.

The smoke from fires in the Everglades comes here, as does Sahara sand. As the crow flies, Pine Level is much closer, less than 20 miles away, the dust will impact you. It causes breathing problems and has radioactive properties.

Please pay attention and fight to keep your quality of life.

Candace Lawless

Arcadia

Orchids and Strip Mines Don’t Mix 2013

The phosphate mining company Mosaic is currently seeking permits that will allow them to mine more than 50,000 acres in Manatee, DeSoto and Hardee Counties. These mines will negatively affect the Peace River watershed water and Myakahatchee Creek which provide both Sarasota and North Port with drinking water, and encroach on Myakka State Park. Since Mosaic now owns exclusively all the phosphate reserves in west central Florida, people may wonder why you can scarcely turn on a radio or television these days without hearing or seeing their advertisements? Why do they blanket area newspapers with their reassurances and promises, with direct mailings and billboards extolling their virtues as trustworthy “stewards of the land,” planters of trees, and conservers of water resources? The answer is simple: Mosaic doesn’t need to sell its product in Florida since its main customers are huge fertilizer consortiums in Brazil, India and China. Here Mosaic needs only to sell its image and its brand. Continue reading “Orchids and Strip Mines Don’t Mix 2013”

Selby Gardens Consorts with Phosphate Industry Oct. 2013

My “Letter to the Editor” (below) was published in the Bradenton Herald Tribune on December 9th. I submitted it simultaneously to the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times, but am unaware that it was published by them since I was out of state at the time….

To hold Selby Gardens accountable for disavowing their stated mission and to inform their leadership of the environmental destruction caused by phosphate strip mining I have also been trying to arrange a meeting with the CEO of Selby Gardens, Mr. Thomas Buchter. He sent me the following short reply:

Dennis, when you are ready to get all nonprofits in the region that have received a grant from Mosaic Co. to support their mission then I will look forward to meeting with you (sic).

Selby Gardens Consorts with Phosphate Industry

Dear Editor,

It is disillusioning, to say the least, to learn that an historic icon of Sarasota, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, accepts financial assistance from the phosphate strip mining company, Mosaic. The Mosaic logo was prominently displayed on the home page of Selby Gardens during the month of October in a $50,000 matching funds agreement for a children’s rainforest exhibit.

Mosaic is more than happy to have its name associated with organizations like Selby Gardens to boost its image as a “friend of the environment,” the thrust of its pervasive public relations campaign conveyed through television ads, public radio sponsorships, billboards, newspaper ads and direct mailings.

How can we forget that the phosphate industry has been ravaging eco-systems and wildlife habitat throughout west central Florida for generations in their quest for ore to manufacture fertilizer products sold on the global market? Phosphate strip mining burdens ground water resources, destroys wetlands and streams, creates thousands of acres of clay waste and toxic chemical disposal sites and permanently altars native soil conditions. Their attempts at “reclamation” have never replicated the fragile native environment that they systematically destroy to enhance their profits.

More specifically phosphate strip mining permanently eradicates the ecological conditions upon which native epiphytes or orchids depend for survival, yet in their mission statement Selby Gardens, which prides itself as being a ” world leader in conservation and display of epiphytes” states that they are committed “… to understand and conserve epiphytes and their natural habitats in a rapidly changing world.”

The phosphate strip mining industry is currently seeking permits to mine an additional 50,000 acres of native Florida prairies, woods and wetlands in Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto Counties. How many more native epiphytes will be permanently lost if these permits are allowed?

It seems to me that Selby Gardens should keep their word to preserve and protect native epiphyte habitats in west central Florida, and not consort with the very industry that is the perpetrator of their demise.

Dennis Mader
People for Protecting Peace River
www.protectpeaceriver.org
4224 Solomon Road
Ona, FL 33865

The Inherent Conflict

The following letter was published in Wauchula hometown newspaper, The Herald Advocate, April 3, 2012….

April 1, 2012

Dear Editor,

The lawsuit filed by FINR against CF Industries as reported in your March 29, 2012 edition (FINR Sues CF – Wants Quarter-Mile Setback) spotlights the conflict inherent in land-use for phosphate mining as opposed to other more desirable and environmentally benign uses as represented by FINR. It is clear that Mr. Brennick’s interests are the kind that we as a county should want to promote. His institute is the highest employer in the county at 600 jobs with intentions of expanding. (Both phosphate mining companies put together don’t employ that many people in Hardee County. Their long-range plans will result in a profound alteration of the natural habitat and drainage patterns of more than 100,000 acres of land in this county and the elimination of thousands of agricultural jobs.)

Note the conditions Mr. Brennick sited that make his location desirable: “… the rural and peaceful setting” of his institute, “… and the peace and serenity it offers [the] clients.”  I hope the lesson that our local decision-makers (BOCC and Planning Board) will take home from this confrontation is that peace and serenity are assets for attracting certain desirable businesses and developments to our county. For the most part agricultural land-use is compatible with these assets, but phosphate mining is not, by the nature of its operation and treatment of the land, peaceful or serene.

The same issues were at stake in a recent mine hearing in Bradenton as voiced by the people of Winding Creek subdivision when they found out that Mosaic had intentions of expanding their mining operation on the adjacent Wingate Creek Mine. People generally consider the constant drone of pumps, the 24/7 operations of draglines and the resultant air and light pollution, alteration of groundwater flow, the threat of dam breaches and flooding a detriment to their quality of life.

I wish Mr. Brennick best of luck as the court hands down a decision. I hope our county leaders will familiarize themselves with the underlying issues in this lawsuit and how they will affect our future as we seek economic growth and stability as a county moving forward.

Dennis Mader

Lily

FINR Sues CF Industries

The attached article appeared on the front page of our local newspaper, The Hardee County Herald Advocate. Since the HA does not have an online presence I had to clip the article out and scan it.

The gist of it is that FINR, the Florida Institute for Neurological Rehabilitation, (largest employer in Hardee County) is suing CF Industries (one of two phosphate mining companies operating in central Florida) for encroaching on the institute’s 872 acre campus which lies just south adjacent to CF’s current mine expansion – the 7500 acre South Pasture Extension.) The lawsuit spotlights the conflict inherent in land-use for phosphate mining as opposed to other more desirable and environmentally benign uses as represented by FINR.

Stop Mosaic in Their Tracks

On Thursday, February 2, at 9 am, Mosaic Phosphate will go before the Manatee Board of County Commissioners to ask for another permit to mine in eastern Manatee County.  The permit would allow Mosaic to mine 661 acres and destroy another 50 acres of wetlands.  Our Planning Commission voted in favor of this permit and now it goes before the Board and this is where it must stop.

This $3.9 billion cash corporation has severely mined Central Florida (over one million acres) and is now coming south into Northeast Manatee County and our Peace River and Myakka River watersheds.  They draw 65 million gallons of water a day from our already declining aquifer, while we are on water restrictions. This water that they are stealing from the state is non-replaceable and will come to tremendous cost to us all.

Don’t be deceived by their showy ads on TV and their jobs claim.  Mosaic provides fewer workers per acre, than any other industry. They are currently spending millions of dollars monthly on advertising to convince you that they are doing a good thing.  Why would a company advertise so much and put large billboards on 301 when they do not sell their product to you?  They want to conceal the negative aspects of their operations which add billions of dollars of cleanup in its wake.

The Federal Courts have insisted Mosaic STOP any further mining until a complete and thorough Area-wide Environmental Impact Study (AEIS) has been performed. Evidently, Mosaic is in fear of the outcome, as they chose to circumvent the rules by attempting to secure another mine before the truth comes out.

Please stop Mosaic in their tracks, have the wisdom and courage that The Planning Commission lacked, and find out the real story.

Mosaic and their consenting codependents are counting on the apathy of Manatee citizens to get their way. Please, please, make an effort to show-up on Feb. 2, at 1112 Manatee Avenue, First Floor Commission Chambers and STOP this from going any further. We need to fill the chambers. You may or may not speak, but fill a chair.

We can’t leave our kids with enough of anything to fix what Mosaic is getting away with.