Tag Archives: briger

Everglades Earth First! cranks up the pressure on Kolter

22 Mar
    EEF! celebrates the Spring Equinox in the streets!

EEF! celebrates the Spring Equinox in the streets!

by Panagioti, EF! Journal

Last month, Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) announced that it would be putting land developer Kolter in the cross-hairs of its campaign against Scripps Biotech and the destruction of Briger forest in northern Palm Beach County. Yesterday, they followed up with a bold office demo and theatrical hell-raising. [Check out the local TV news coverage here.]

Even the devil came out to shame Kolter

Even the devil came out to shame Kolter

EEF! was joined by members of the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition and Smash HLS, a South Florida-based anti-vivisection group. The demonstration, which included a menacing presence at the windows of Kolter employees, also entered the offices of Kolter and Kast (Kolter’s associated construction company) as well as their neighboring business, to let them know what is at stake if the Briger forest is lost.  Continue reading

Everglades Earth First! Brings Anti-Biotech Fight to Kolter Group

26 Feb

Land deal could signify move forward for Scripps’ biotech city on Briger forest

Today in West Palm Beach, Florida, Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) announced their official opposition to the Kolter Group’s purchase of the Briger Forest. The EEF! collective, which maintained a 6-week treesit on the site in 2011, visited the corporate office of the venture capitalist vultures at Kolter with this message: “If you buy Briger you’re buying the community resistance to the Scripps Florida Phase II project.” The project has been contested for years, with multiple legal challenges citing impacts to protected species, including hand fern and gopher tortoise.

While his underlings call him Bobby. After watching this video, you may want to call him Blinky instead. Has Scripps gone into genetically engineering robot CEO's?!

While his underlings call him Bobby, after watching this video, you may want to call him Blinky. …Has Scripps gone into genetically engineering robot CEO’s?!

In case you want to pay a visit (or send a letter) to Kolter Group Co yourself, their address is 701 S. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401. And you can call them at (561) 682-9500, or fax (561) 682-1050. The CEO’s name is Robert Julien, but his underlings seem to call him Bobby. His extension is 221.

Although the Kolter Group claims to be committed to “creating better communities” they seem to have little issue with building homes and businesses within close proximity of the proposed biotech facility. Continue reading

April Fool’s Tree Sit against Deforestation and Biotechnology

1 Apr

Earth First! editor Aguamala takes to a tree at the Palm Beach Gardens city hall to protest the development of a biotech city on an endangered forest.

Dressed in sad clown make-up Ana Rodriguez (Everglades Earth First!er and member of the editorial collective of the Earth First! Journal) scampered up a pine tree at Palm Beach Gardens city hall this morning. She is part of the coalition that is fighting a Scripps biotech development, which will be built on an endangered forest, in Palm Beach County, Florida.

April 1st, Fool’s Day, marks the one year anniversary of the Palm Beach Gardens city council deciscion to rezone the Briger Forest for development.

The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition, Executive Committee of the Loxahatchee SierraClub and the Conservation Chair of Audubon Society of the Everglades have all taken a position against the plan to clear Briger forest. The groups join Everglades Earth First! in opposing the current Briger plan and call for an alternate plan which preserves and enhances the endangered species habitat, recreational value and educational opportunities that the forest provides.

Treesitter Ana Rodriguez commented “The public needs to know that Mayor Levy and the County Commissioner have given Scripps $579 million in tax dollars to clear the Briger Forest and create one hundred jobs. That is one million per job. In this time of drastic budget cuts we call on the Mayor and County Commissioners to redirect public money into the budget, not the deep pockets of the Scripps Corporation.”

The new tree-top protest comes a week after Palm Beach Gardens Police arrested two tree sitters. The Police were also responsible for cutting multiple large native pine trees down in two areas of Briger forest—one of these being an area listed as a “preserve” in the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) permit, the other being in land owned by Palm Beach County taxpayers. Several members of the group have filed public records requests for details on the reason for tree-cutting. No official response has been made by the city to these requests, and their requests for a meeting with staff have gone ignored.

The activists have found that, according to Treasure Coast Regional Planning Committee staff, cutting trees in the designated preserve area constitutes a violation of the conditions of the DRI approval, which requires a “Preserve Management Plan” that will “enhance and restore” habitat. Activist have 10 foot branches and large stumps from the felled trees with them at City Hall and plan to rally later today from noon – two.

The group asserts that the fight to protect Briger is gaining momentum, similar to the 2006 effort that resulted in Scripps being forced off Mecca Farms due to environmental impacts. A group member Panagioti Tsolkas commented that “More and more people are realizing the importance of protecting the endangered species on the Briger Forest. We get calls daily from people who want to participate in our efforts to protect the Briger Forest.”

In 1990, Palm Beach County’s Environmental Resource Management (ERM) selected the Briger forest as a candidate for preservation through a bond to purchase land for protection. At that time, it was called Indian Creek Flatwoods eco-site #23. While it was not selected in the final purchases, it was recognized to be valued as endangered species habitat by ERM, over 20 years ago.

For more photos and background, visit www.ScrapScripps.info

Assault on Florida tree sit in Briger Forest

21 Mar

[Click here for more images from Briger forest]

The images of cut trees are from the initial tree sit location. Ring counts estimate the trees at 50-70 years old. At the time of being cut, a banner was still being displayed. Rather than cut the banner down, multiple trees were felled, seemingly in retaliation for the attention brought to the development plan. These were some of the largest trees on the property, and were in an area listed as a “preserve” in the approved development plan. The site was still in use by those occupying the Briger forest. Around the same time (3/15/2011), a tree sitter at the Donald Ross site was threatened by a person claiming to be ‘the owner’ of the property, saying that he could cut trees wherever and whenever he wanted. Luckily no one was hurt by the trees being cut.
“The disregard shown by this act leaves us concerned about the fate of tree sitters and endangered species in the forest, but our commitment to defend this forest has only grown stronger.” —an anonymous tree sitter of Briger Forest

[UPDATE 3/21: Following this post, on the Spring Equinox, two tree sitters were arrested, gear was stolen and three more occupied trees were cut by the Palm Beach Gardens Police along Donald Ross Road—which is public land, owned by the people of Palm Beach County. The tree sitters were released later the same evening on their own recognizance. For more info, read the Palm Beach Post story here.]