The “My Word” column in yesterday’s (July 26, 2012) edition of the Orlando Sentinel brings out an interesting point regarding the use of facts and science in allowing property owners to enjoy and use their land.

The Adena Springs Ranch near Silver Springs, Florida is comprised of nearly 25,000 acres. It is located in northeastern Marion County between Ocala and Ocala National Forest and they plan to grow cattle. Their website says they are committed “to raise and harvest the animals in a way that protects his neighbors and the environment.” For the details on their proposed operations visit:

Part of the permitting process includes applying for a water use permit. Last Sunday, the Sentinel wrote an editorial attempting to create fear that the granting of this permit would be gambling with the environmental purity and water resource of Silver Springs. Click HERE to read the article

The author of the “My Word” column responded by stating this fear is not based on any scientific evidence. None has ever been offered. In fact, the homework done by Ranch owner, Frank Stronach, led them to issue the following statement regarding the permit, “We know that it will not harm environmental or water resources or our neighbors. You can read his response HERE

This debate is similar to the one over septic system regulation in the Florida Legislature. Attempts were made to define septic systems were a critical source of pollution. Here again, there was no scientific evidence. In fact, estimations showed septic systems to be the least contributor to pollution and the best, most reliable method to deal with waste.

After several attempts, then-Senator Lee Constantine sponsored and passed onerous septic system regulations in 2010 – Senate Bill 550. It called for testing and system replacement regulations and rule which some estimate could have cost property owners $25,000 each!

CPR and others worked hard to undo the onerous regulations of the Constantine bill. And in the 2012 Session, SB 550 was repealed, re-placed and signed into law by Governor Scott this year.

These are just some examples of how attempts are being made to restrict, regulate, and/or limit the use of private property, commercial, residential, and even agricultural, without scientific evidence. They highlight the need for each of us to be vigilant and demand that ordinances, rules and laws be founded upon science and facts before more rights are eroded!

It is attributed to Thomas Jefferson that he said: “The price of Freedom is eternal vigilance.”

Only we can protect our rights from those who would restrict or deny them.

Finally, it’s the final days of Membership Month and CPR is grateful to all who have joined. If you haven’t become a supporting member yet, please go to

and do so!

Thank you!

Dan Peterson, Executive Director