Tag Archives: Mary Jane Saunders

Burrowing Owls Get Revenge as FAU President Resigns in Disgrace

15 May

Or, A Lesson For University Bureaucrats Who Build A Stadium On Their Own Mascot’s Habitat, Then Try to Name The Stadium After Private Prison Profiteers, Then Try to Run Down Earth First! Activists With Their Fancy Subsidized Cars…

by Panagioti, EF! Newswire

FAU owl sanctuaryIn 2010, activists from Everglades Earth First! collaborated with the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition to send a message to the then-new president of FAU, Mary Jane Saunders. One letter they sent spelled out the state of affairs in an ongoing controversy of campus expansion onto rare scrub habitat:

“The Burrowing Owl [is] a Species of Special Concern which, as you know, has habitat designated for them on the FAU Boca Raton campus. It is your responsibility as the new president to ensure their survival by stopping further removal of their habitat…. FAU is slated to build a road to the new stadium which will go through current Gopher Tortoise and Burrowing Owl habitat. Too much encroachment has already occurred as the animals are surrounded by concrete, parking lots and multiple story buildings. To put another road which intersects the conservation area would not just reduce their habitat area, but increase their exposure to toxins, pollutants, noise pollution, etc. It would also drastically increase the chances that these beautiful creatures would die at the hands of careless drivers.”

Saunders response? Unsurprisingly, nothing. The Boca Chamber of Commerce doesn’t named your school “Business of the Year” nor does the South Florida Business Journal included you on its list of the Most Influential Business Women for your commitment to justice and biodiversity. As the original letter indicates, the environmentalists lamented the losses and re-focused energy on FAU’s next assault, collaboration in the Scripps Biotech city slated to destroy Briger forest

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