November 01, 2005

Avon Park bombing likely to go up

The November 1, 2005
By Tom Palmer, The Lakeland Ledger

The Navy's plan may pose a threat to several species, including the protected Florida scrub-jay. Increased bombing is scheduled to begin next spring.

The fighter-bombers would drop more than 13,000 practice bombs, up from nearly 8,400, and more than 1,500 high explosive bombs. Military aircraft would fire as many as 27 Hellfire missles at targets on the ground and helicopter flights would increase from nearly 1,100 to more than 1,400. The Navy considered six plans, and while the chosen one is not the least disruptive of the alternatives, it is close to it.

In addition to scrub-jays, the bombing is likely to affect Eastern indigo snakes adversely, as well as pigeonwing and jointweed, two rare plant species found primarily on Central Florida's sand ridges.
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