Stop the Southwest-Central Florida Connector Toll Road to SAVE THE FLORIDA PANTHER

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Stop the Southwest-Central Florida Connector Toll Road to SAVE THE FLORIDA PANTHER

This petition made change with 1,407 supporters!
Dawson Amico started this petition to Florida Department of Transportation Kevin J. Thibault

Background: Over the past couple decades Florida's forests have been jeopardized by rapid suburban development. Florida is a flat state which makes it easier for forests to be demolished for commercial and residential purposes. Within these forests live an array of many ecosystems. Ecosystems including animals as common as the American Alligator or as rare as a Florida Panther.

The Florida Panther is a North Eastern American Cougar that lives in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and mixed swamp forests. The historic range of The Florida Panther spanned from Louisiana and Arkansas to Georgia and Florida. Due to poaching and urban development, their population has been constrained to the lower South-West quarter of Florida. They are an endangered species.

Issue: South-West Florida is where the LAST remaining untouched wilderness of our state is located. Through this forested area the Florida Department of Transportation approved a highway called the Southwest-Central Florida Connector. It is projected that this highway will create suburban sprawl along the road in this untouched Floridian habitat. FDOT cannot be allowed to begin construction on this toll road in 2023. It will devastate the remaining Florida Panther population, permanently stunting their ability to spread Northward throughout the state.

Solution: We the people of Florida need to demand action against this toll road! Signing and sharing this petition is one way we can show our representatives that a majority of Floridians do not want this highway. There are many alternatives to building a extensive toll road from Northwest Florida to Southwest Florida. FDOT can update and modify existing highway systems that go North to South Florida. They need to continue to invest in smart forest friendly infrastructure technology available in the 21st Century. This doesn't mean only creating land bridges and tunnels for animals to cross the freeway. It means not guiding businesses to go through untouched Floridian habitat that Suburban sprawl will devastate. Instead of destroying this habitat it could be used to expand the tourism industry through eco-tourism. This area is a critical area for a diverse ecosystem unique to North America.

The completion date of this project is 2030. By 2030 we will already have efficient fast transportation technology through Hyperloop companies. Virgin Hyperloop One is going to be connecting Orlando to Miami with a travel time of 23 minutes. This technology is already developed, it will be installed and completed at the supposed beginning of this toll roads construction in the early half of the 2020's. This toll road is unnecessary and the project needs to be cancelled.

Please show your support for the Florida Panther and protecting Floridian Habitat by signing this petition, sharing this petition, spreading the conversation, and contacting your Federal and State representatives. We need to make sure the wilderness in Southwest Florida is protected from the suburban sprawl that will ensue following this toll roads construction. Thank you.

For More Information (and map of the purposed toll road) Click The Article Link Below:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/08/florida-toll-road-threatens-wildlife-panthers/

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