The mayor and other council members of the Town of Cutler Bay voted unanimously to oppose the planned development of one of the last intact tracts of pine rockland in a resolution presented at the town’s monthly council meeting on Aug. 20.
The 88-acre tract of forest land is located close to the intersection of SW 152nd Street and 127th Avenue in unincorporated Miami- Dade, just west of the entrance to Zoo Miami.
Town Mayor Edward MacDougall, who sponsored the resolution, explained in an interview on Sept. 6 why he thought it was important to all residents.
“I grew up in South Dade when there was pine rockland over huge areas of South Dade,” MacDougall said. “Now we’re down to two percent from what we originally had. This is an area that has endangered plants and animal species and it should not be lost. I don’t see any elected officials saying anything about, and I’m amazed.”
Besides many plants and insects considered “rare and exclusive to that habitat” the resolution points out that the habitat provides a home for creatures such as the bald eagle, indigo snake, Florida bonneted bat, and two rare butterflies.
As a result of passage of the resolution, the town council authorized the town clerk to transmit the resolution to the Miami- Dade County Commission and Craig W. Aubrey, South Florida field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Mayor MacDougall said he would like to see more public awareness and support on this issue.
“The University of Miami was given that land by the federal government, and they turned around and sold it, and now someone will put a Walmart there,” MacDougall said. “I’m amazed that there’s nobody screaming about it. I would like to see a protest out in front of that land.”