Activists to Give Rick Scott a Bloody Stuffed Bear to Mock His Conservation Award

Activists to Give Rick Scott a Bloody Stuffed Bear to Mock His Conservation Award
Robert Ruderman

The Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida is poised to honor Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday at its annual BlueGreen Event for his work in fish and wildlife conservation.

The foundation, which is a citizen support group of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), promises the event will be “THE event of the year for Florida's conservation community” and will feature live country music, a “cowboy cookout,” and prizes for those best dressed as cowboys and cowgirls.

However, some believe the upcoming event and its honoring Scott is a travesty. He has rolled back environmental protections during his tenure, and his appointees to the FWC this year approved a hunt of Florida black bears that resulted in deaths of 304 of the creatures. 

“It’s a really sick joke, and it’s a perfect example of how corrupt our environmental protections groups are here in Florida,” said Wendy King, an animal activist who is helping to organize a demonstration outside the event, which is being held at the Green Glades Ranch in Weston — a property owned by FWC Commissioner and Broward County resident Ron Bergeron.

King said she and other activists hope their protest will publicly express their disapproval of Scott’s status as an “outstanding” conservationist. They do not believe he is worthy of the distinction because he declined to cancel the black bear hunt, though he could have halted it. 

Animal activists held demonstrations across the state, like this one in Palm Beach County, to stop the black bear hunt.
Animal activists held demonstrations across the state, like this one in Palm Beach County, to stop the black bear hunt.
Photo courtesy of Mirna Trujillo

The activists also say Scott should be shamed for appointing the FWC officials.

While the governor is inside lapping up praise at the BlueGreen Event, activists will be outside presenting the governor with another honor: a three-foot “Killer Conservationist Award” with a bloody (red paint) stuffed bear on top.

“We need the public to understand that we need reform and protection from the FWC and Rick Scott before they kill more of our iconic Florida animals and turn our parks into golf courses and hunting grounds,” said King. “Our protest will raise awareness of that."

New Times has contacted the Fish and Wildlife Foundation to ask what Scott's contributions to conservation are. We still have not received a response. 


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