About 50 people gathered at Hillsborough River State Park on Saturday to protest fears that Florida is moving toward allowing hunting, timbering or cattle grazing in parks to boost state revenue.
The rally was part of coordinated Sierra Club gatherings at 11 parks across the state, called “Have a Heart, Save Our State Parks.”
"That's not what state parks are about,” said Frank Jackalone, the Florida Chapter Director for the Sierra Club. “It's about preserving nature, for us to bring our kids to enjoy."
State Representative Edwin Narian spoke at the Hillsborough protest in favor of parks.
"When you talk about clean air, clean water, that's not a partisan issue. That's something that everybody wants,” Narian said.
But according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, state parks are not for sale.
In a statement, a spokesman for the agency said, “There are no proposals to expand hunting or cattle grazing in any state parks at this time, nor are there any ‘commercial’ or other timbering activities proposed or underway that are inconsistent with any park’s current unit management plan. Active timber projects, which have been occurring in state parks for decades, are designed, implemented and managed for the primary purpose of getting lands restored and into a more natural condition faster.”