Location: Near Everglades City, FL
Dates: Nov 10 – 14, 2011
Cost: members $225/non-members $250

Draft Agenda

Swampwalk 2010 with the Florida Broadband.

Our custom weekend includes 4 nights camping or slumber party lodging at photographer Clyde Butcher’s swamp retreat (http://www.evergladesswampwalks.com), breakfasts, dinners catered by Camillia’s restaurant, a guided swampwalk, and more. You could get healthy with your new year’s resolution, but when you need a cheat day call us for pizza delivery in South Minneapolis. We’re heading south to the unique, mysterious, and secretive environment River Trip Broadwalk of the Big Cypress Swamp. Difficult to explore and understand, swamps are easily bypassed for more friendly terrain but their rich biodiversity and ecological importance needs to be experienced and understood. Join us for a truly one-of-a-kind weekend experience and let local naturalists unlock the mysteries of the swamps. Learn about the issues and challenges faced by the National Park Service as they manage Everglades National Park and the Big Cypress National Preserve. Fabulous birding, botanizing, and general mucking about with like minded Broads ensures this will be a Broadwalk to remember. Register by sending payment to Broads office or go to our on-line shopping cart.

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Everglades news from the Sierra Club

An Attack on Everglades Science – August 23, 2011 — Jonathan Ullman, Sierra Club South Florida/Everglades Senior Organizing Representative, Miami, Florida

Swampwalk suggested reading from Florida Broadband Leader JoAnn Valenti:

For people interested in Great Old Broads and the Florida Everglades, suggested reading: An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century, by Jack Davis, University of Georgia Press. At 600 pages some people think this book is too long to read (?!) – no one else, including Marjory herself, has written this well about the Everglades.

For people who want a primer on the ecosystem and its habitats and inhabitants: The Everglades Handbook: Understanding the Ecosystem, 3rd Edition, by Tom Lodge. Published this year, this handbook is by far the best science-based guide to the Everglades, even though Tom belongs to the very assertive scholarly class that defines everglades as only those deeper-water sawgrass lands the army and the land-drainers were most interested in conquering. So while his book treats the whole Everglades very well and calls it the Everglades region, he insists that only sawgrass country is real everglades. That’s ok – people who consider themselves conquerors, whether the U.S. Army or the South Florida Water Management District, get to draw their own maps and name their own names. The Clinton/Gore surrender of the Everglades to the Corps and the State of Florida has emboldened state-focused people to claim that they, rather than the National Park Service, are the managers of the “true” Everglades. The water and the wildlife don’t care.

For a focus on Big Cypress itself, Clyde Butcher has a Big Cypress book with wonderful photos available from his website www.clydebutcher.com.

The most beautiful film of a National Park I’ve ever seen is the new Elam Stoltzfus documentary, Big Cypress Swamp: the Western Everglades. We may get a chance to see it while we’re down there. I highly recommend it, worth buying from Elam’s Live Oak Productions, DVD available at http://www.bigcypressswamp.org/home.html The film does include some film of our guide Joe, and discussion of some of the more contentious parts of the campaign he worked in (1960s and 1970s) to preserve Big Cypress.

For those who want to see rare photos of how people lived in the area we’ll be visiting – including great pictures of my alligator poacher friends – go to Amazon and find old copies of the first coffee-table book done about the Everglades, the Sierra Club book from 1970. Everglades, Patricia Caulfield, Sierra Club 1970.

Other good reads:

The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise, by Michael Grunwald (2006) Simon & Schuster

Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators, by Jeff Klinkenberg (2008) University Press of Florida

Two additional books of general Florida interest, both by Craig Pittman of the St. Petersburg Times and published by University Press of Florida:

Paving Paradise: Florida’s Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss (2009)

Manatee Insanity: Inside the War over Florida’s Most Famous Endangered Species (2010)

Read JoAnn’s review of the Pittman Manatee book, which appeared in “SEJournal,” a publication of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

[NOTE: JoAnn does NOT recommend the recently released fiction Swamplandia!.]

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