The Southeastern Dog Hunters Association & Other Associations need the help of all who support hunting and fishing in Florida, so that the association can continue to retain a lawyer to intervene in a case filed against the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The outcome of the case could impact your ability to hunt, fish, or otherwise partake in recreational activities on public lands in Florida.
The Case: A group of private land owners who own in-holdings within the Blackwater State Forest filed suit against FWCC in 2014, alleging that the management decisions of the agency have impeded their rights to enjoy the private lands that they own. The private lands in question are within a state forest that is managed as a wildlife management area in Florida. The management decision by FWCC to allow the use of "Hounds" when hunting is at the heart of the law suit but folks this is much bigger than hunting with a hound!!! Lawyers are trying to make a large amount of money off of the state and the Anti Hunters are trying to close our land and water for recreation use!!!
"Please Read Carefully" Consequently, the judge in this case has allowed the case to continue as a case of “taking.” In other words, the judge is saying that if it is found that the management decisions of FWCC have resulted in the loss of enjoyable use of the private properties in question, FWCC should be held liable and should have to pay the private land owners for the diminished value of the property.
If this case proceeds and the FWCC losses the case, this means that any person who doesn’t like hunting and that also lives next to a wildlife management area, could also sue the agency for similar damages. Or, if a person lives on a lake, river or bay front property and they do not like fishing, they could sue saying the fishing that may be occurring on the water in front of their property is disturbing to them, therefore they cannot enjoy their property and they should be compensated. The examples are endless. This case could have huge negative consequences for sportsmen all over Florida, as it would set a horrible precedent. If you like to Hunt, Gigging Flounder, Bow Fishing, Mullet Fishing, Bass Fishing or any other outdoor recreation be aware that your tradition/sport is in jeopardy in the State of Florida. This is why the Southeastern Dog Hunters Association is seeking to intervene in this case.
We have retained very competent counsel on this matter. This could, however, be a long and drawn out case and it could get very expensive. This is why we are asking for help from sportsmen, both fishermen and hunters, from all over Florida, to help fund our legal efforts. All monies donated will go to fund this legal initiative. If any funds remain, they will then be used to help fund our governmental advocacy effort in Tallahassee.