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Decision to spare Brooker Creek Preserve hailed

Bruce Rinker, Pinellas County’s director of environmental lands division, sits easy with his stuffed flying fox at the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center in 2004. New power lines will not affect the preserve.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2004)

Bruce Rinker, Pinellas County’s director of environmental lands division, sits easy with his stuffed flying fox at the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center in 2004. New power lines will not affect the preserve.

Good news for some worried people in North Pinellas this week: Progress Energy will not propose any new transmission lines in the Brooker Creek Preserve or Crescent Oaks.
Earlier this year, Progress Energy had talked about putting new lines in the preserve, generating vocal opposition.
Instead, Progress Energy said Monday it wants to bring power to a substation near Forest Lakes Boulevard in Oldsmar from Hillsborough County. From there, the power, generated by a proposed nuclear power plant in Levy County, would be distributed on existing transmission lines in Pinellas.

Here's what people are saying:

"We're just so happy. We're happy that they are not only staying out of Brooker Creek but the Starkey Preserve (in Pasco County). Obviously, they listened to the scientists, the environmentalists and other concerned citizens."

Barbara Hoffman, a member of Pinellas County Environmental Science Forum and vice chairwoman of the Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve.

•••

"It's a very different process than the public City Council or County Commission hearing process. We had no idea how our opinions were being heard or weighed. So we were quite delighted with the news."

Allyn Childress, chair of the Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve.

•••

"It really avoids North Pinellas in any intrusive way and it has the least impact within the Brooker Creek Preserve. We feel sorry for those who may be affected in the counties north of Pinellas."

John Miolla, president of the homeowners association in Crescent Oaks.

"The long-term protection of our wild lands and waterways rests among all of us stakeholders willing to sit at the table with those traditionally seen as antagonists to find common ground. This decision by Progress Energy is an unequivocal reaction to our unified voice to protect conservation lands for future generations."

Bruce Rinker, Pinellas County's director of environmental lands division, in an e-mail.

Decision to spare Brooker Creek Preserve hailed 05/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 23, 2008 11:35am]
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