FMB, The Audubon and That Dune Walkover

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This letter to the editor was submitted by FMB Homeowner Edde Rood. Beach Talk Radio News is neutral on this issue. We notified the Audubon Society that this letter would appear and offered them the opportunity to submit a response. 

(By Eddie Rood) The Town of FMB and The Florida Audubon have filed four lawsuits to stop our dune walkover. They lost three and the forth was dismissed by the judge.

The Audubon now has no legal standing to continue to fight against the walkover, so the Audubon has taken a behind the scenes approach to continue their objection to the walkover. The Audubon continues their battle by encouraging the Town management and Town Council to deny our right to have the walkover.

We have filed legal action for damages against the Town, the Audubon is not included, so if the Town loses the lawsuits Kurt (Kroemer) and I have filed against the Town, the Audubon would stand to lose nothing, and the Town would liable for millions of dollars in damages.

The Audubon has a few influential people, along with a handful of followers that reside in FMB, who  have mounted a campaign to stop our walkover. This local group has gained the support of the state-wide Florida Audubon organization, and are putting extreme pressure on the Town’s staff and Council to deny the permit required to construct the walkover.

With the Audubon continuing to attempt to manipulate Town officials and push their agenda from behind the scenes, the question arises:  Why is the Audubon so intent on stopping a walkover when they use walkovers all over Florida to preserve and protect the environment and wildlife?  Possibly the answer is control – they don’t want to lose control the area behind the Critical Wildlife Area where our properties are located. The Audubon’s claim has been that they are protecting nesting and endangered birds, yet multiple expert studies by state and federal agencies have found no nesting or endangered birds located in the proposed walkover site location. The Judge who presided over their failed lawsuits found in our favor and opined that in fact, the walkover would be environmentally beneficial to the area in question.

The Florida Audubon is a large and powerful organization with large donors, and has the ability to put extreme pressure on people to influence decisions in their favor with little regard for the facts. Do you want the Audubon influencing your Town staff and Council to further the Audubon’s cause – even to the point of denying private property rights and using inaccurate, misleading information to do so? The Town of FMB has already spent between 250 and 300 thousand dollars of your tax payer money to fight for the Audubon’s agenda

Our only desire is for us and our similarly affected neighbors to regain our access to the beach with a project the Florida DEP and US Fish and Wildlife have approved and have issued the State and Federal permits.

Please consider emailing your Town Council members and asking them to stop fighting the Audubon’s battles at the possible expense of millions of dollars to you , the Ft Myers Beach Taxpayer.

Eddie Rood and Kurt Kroemer own homes on Estero Boulevard. They have requested a special exception to build a long walkway to the beach after claiming they lost their beach access.

Please visit our website at www.beachaccessmatters.com.

All letters to the editors can be submitted to edryantheeditor@gmail.com