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2001-05-06
Pensacola, FL. The Carnivorous Wal-Mart

Big box developers have never been shy about locating on environmentally sensitive land. In Pensacola, Florida, Wal-Mart has set its superstore heart on developing property in the Perdido Pitcher Plant Prairie. The state of Florida has already purchased nearly half of the 7,000 acre prairie, which includes the pitcher plant, an endangered carnivorous plant unique to this part of the Gulf Coast. But Wal-Mart is more carnivorous, and is prepared to fill in four acres of wetlands near the Blue Angel Parkway, and in return donate 29 acres abutting the preserve. But the Friends of the Prairie, a citizens group in Pensacola, hopes to take a bite out of the superstore's plans. According to the Friends, the site is environmentally unacceptable, and local roads unable to handle the increased traffic volume. They also say the location is right in the flight path of the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The Navy's natural resources manager for the Pensacola area says the Pitcher Plant Prairie "strikes a perfect balance between development and conservation", and if this parcel gets developed, the entire prairie would be endangered. Local activists say that nearly 1,000 acres of the prairie have already been developed. The Navy has complained that too many homes and businesses are being built within the bases' flight path, and could threaten the base's future mission. Escambia County Commissioner W.D. Childers told the Pensacola News Journal: "I haven't run into anyone who did not want to preserve the prairie, and who did not want to protect it from whatever. It's something that's very dear to a lot of people." His sentiment was echoed by Commissioner Mike Bass, who wants Wal-Mart to find somewhere else to locate.

What you can do: For more details on the efforts of Friends of the Prairie to keep Wal-Mart out of the Pitcher Plant, contact info@sprawl-busters.com. Speaking of carnivorous plants -- where is the Little Shop of Horrors when we need it? Feed me, Wal-Mart!










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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