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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott defends plan to add campgrounds to state parks

Despite strong criticism from members of his own party, Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Friday defended his administration's push to add new campgrounds, including spaces for recreational vehicles, in more than 50 state parks, including in Dunedin's popular Honeymoon Island State Park.

"The reason we have parks is so people will use them," Scott said after giving a speech to the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. "We have to make our parks available to people, with whatever amenities we can add to help people use the parks more."

State Department of Environmental Protection officials are pushing a plan to let private contractors design, build and operate new camp sites in 56 state parks where camping currently is not allowed. The list includes not just Honeymoon Island but also such popular parks as Wakulla Springs and Ichetucknee Springs. More here.

[Last modified: Friday, July 1, 2011 3:31pm]

    

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