Walmart is looking to open a new superstore in the Miami-Dade area but environmentalists are standing against it, claiming it will bring endangered species of plants and animals closer to extinction.
“You wonder how things end up being endangered? This is how,” stated lawyer Dennis Olle, a board member of Tropical Audubon and the North American Butterfly Association. “This is bad policy and bad enforcement.”
Olle’s attacks were mainly directed at the University of Miami, who sold the 88-acre area to Palm Beach County-based developer Ram earlier this month. Ram plans on building a Walmart store and 900 apartments in the pine rockland area, and part of the its deal included an agreement on their part to keep 40 acres of it for conservation.
“County officials say they (University of Miami) are hamstrung by an ordinance that allows them to require forest protection only when the land is developed,” continued Olle who also claims the development would kill rare butterflies, plants and other creatures.
Pine rocklands are home to 40 different animal species that can only live in that environment. The area in question is one of the few pine rockland stretches left in Florida.