New book tells of Florida’s fight for natural lands By Mark Lane, The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Posted on November 20, 2022

Clay Henderson’s just-released book on the history of Florida land preservation, “Forces of Nature: A History of Florida Land Conservation,” starts with some familiar names. Among them Walter Boardman, an area environmental activist I think of whenever I pedal my bicycle down the narrow swamp road that bears his name, Walter Boardman Lane. That road runs past the impressive Boardman Oak and over the modest Walter Boardman Bridge, a favorite crabbing spot, on the scenic route known simply as “The Loop.”

It was Boardman who advised those organizing to save natural lands to “buy it, don’t fight it.”

Good advice. When land preservation depends on an up-or-down vote of local politicos, they usually say their hands are tied and development must move forward. Sorry folks, nothing we can do here. You know: previous zoning decisions, past agreements and earlier exceptions nobody was aware of. And even a rare win can be reversed after the next election, invalidated by the courts, changed by legislative act or revisited administratively on second thought.

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