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Environmentalists fight DCA Merger Plan

March 16th, 2009 by flanews

A plan to merge the Department of Community Affairs with the Department of State to save money has environmentalists outraged.

The Department of Community Affairs oversees land development. Environmental groups say a merger would weaken the department and lead to reckless building. Florida Wildlife Federation Spokesman Manley Fuller said the merger would endanger some of the states most protected animals.

Where the growth occurs and where the wildlife occurs, there needs to be a thoughtful process. If you just start running highways willy-nilly and building towns scattered throughout the countryside, youre not going to be able to maintain animals like the Florida Panther and the black bear, said Fuller.

Environmentalists say the plan to merge the two departments has been in the works for years. They say lawmakers are using the states budget crisis as an excuse to weaken the Departments authority.

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