Camp Blanding plan could clear way for hunting


Published: Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 12:07 a.m.
A proposed compromise has been reached that could reopen part of Camp Blanding for recreational hunting.
The area of the Florida National Guard camp that lies south of State Road 16 has been closed to hunting since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, although the area north of SR 16 has generally remained open.
Under a plan that will be presented to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the general public in early February, the south area could be reopened for the 2006-2007 hunting season.
"This is all still a proposal, but we are trying to fast-track this so there can be hunting there for the 2006-2007 season," said Karen Parker of the wildlife commission. "If we get a lot of people saying they don't like the changes, then we'll have to put on the brakes and keep the area closed until at least the 2007-2008 season."
According to Jon Myatt, public information officer for the Florida Department of Military Affairs, whose agency owns the Camp Blanding land, "We can put the property off-limits if we need to, but as a result of our success in the global war on terror and the Patriot Act and improving security and the changing way that we look at things, the time has come when we can probably start making some changes."
One of the changes would move hunting deer with dogs from south side of SR 16 to the north side to prevent dogs and hunters from straying into the artillery impact zone in that area. The move would reduce the number of days for hunting with dogs from 58 to two nine-day hunts, Parker said.
Commission staff members will present commissioners with an overview of the plan during the Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 meeting in Gainesville.
A meeting to gather public comments will be held at the Clay County Fairgrounds at 2497 State Road 16 West on Feb. 7, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Comments can also be submitted by e-mail to Karen.Parker@MyFWC.com, or by mailing them to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, attention Karen Parker, 3377 E. U.S. 90, Lake City, FL 32055.

FYI: Offer your input

  • Public meeting Feb. 7 on proposed opening of the south end of Camp Blanding to hunting. Meeting 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., Clay County Fairgrounds at 2497 State Road 16 West.
  • Details on the proposal will be posted at www.myfwc.com/commission under the Feb. 1-2 meeting agenda.
    FYI - Public meeting Feb. 7 on proposed opening of the south end of Camp Blanding to hunting. Meeting 6:30 - 9 p.m., Clay County Fairgrounds at 2497 State Road 16 West.
    Details on the proposal will be posted at www.myfwc.com/commission under the Feb. 1-2 meeting agenda.
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