Union County commissioners spoke loudly and clearly tonight, Jan. 16, 2018, and what they said is that they do not want a phosphate mine in their county. They unanimously voted to extend the prohibition on accepting mining permit applications for one year, until Jan. 16, 2019. This will give them time to revise their Land Development Regulations which will then, we assume, be strict enough to make phosphate mining not economically profitable.
There was a huge turnout of those opposing the mine, some of whom came from as far away as Polk County. One paid employee of HPS II spoke against the moratorium. That was all. None of the multitude of opposition was paid. They spoke from their hearts and their minds, which feel love for the rivers, and from a base intelligence which tells them that the mine will destroy the land and will put the river at risk.
The Union County Board of County Commissioners, up to this point, have stood firm in their opposition to this mine. We commend them for their courage and for their wisdom in not choosing a quick boom followed by a permanent bust after the land is destroyed.
One has only to look at White Springs to see the destruction that a mine brings to a community. Their flagship springs are dead and they no longer flow. This happened soon after PCS mine came on the scene. Look at the destruction that Mosaic has caused in south-central Florida.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-