This January a protest was staged at the entrance of Barley Barber Swamp in Martin County Florida. Barley Barber is currently under the stewardship of Florida Power and Light. The Protest was held to ask FP&L to re-open the swamp for public use and for FP&L to provide adequate and unbiased proof as to the condition of the swamp. To date the public has been kept in the “dark” as to the condition of the swamp. According to some environmentalist groups several of the bald cypress trees in Barley Barber are over a thousand years old. They are among the oldest in Florida and the entire southeast region. The swamp was open to the public until 9/11 and homeland security concerns. The swamp is scheduled to re-open sometime in 2010. Below is a recent conversation I had with Wyatt Fulton as we were fishing for snook at the St. Lucie Lock. WF: “Lake Okeechobee is at 13.33 feet, Governor Crist wants to run for Senate and who the hell knows what Barley Barber Swamp looks like.” BC: “One thing at a time Wyatt, your like my dog holding a frisbee and a tennis ball in her mouth at the same time.” Wyatt spits his Levi Garret Tobacco into a 7-11 Big Gulp.
BC: “I don’t understand you sometimes Wyatt, you stick your teeth into the strangest things, we should be talking about fishing reels and carburetors, why are you so stuck on the swamp? we must be hanging out too much.” WF: “I’ll tell you why Bart, the big wigs at Florida Power & Light think they can just say the swamp looks good and we all roll over and say okay. We go to work, drive home in our new Prius, watch American Idol and hope to hell we have a job tomorrow.
We give permission to FP&L to enter our property and read our meters and take their word that they are not fudging the reading, but they can’t even show us pictures of the swamp. How much more land are they going to take for new solar and wind energy? Will the 60,000 acres at Corbett, be off limits as a security risk as well because its close to the new FP&L coal plant. Just show us pictures or open it up for a weekend open house if you have nothing to hide, at the very least let a news station go through with a camera and an independent scientist.” BC: Look Wyatt there is a ton of information flying around concerning Barley Barber and its fashionable right now to pick on big business but we should give them another 11 months. After all, they said they are trying to re-open it in 2010. We need to hold them to it.
BC: “Wyatt, you are the only guy I know who packs sushi for lunch and chews tobacco at the same time. That is kind of like taking a shower with your boots on.” WF: “Take it easy Bart your not so perfect yourself, hot black coffee with a cube of butter” BC: “Hey Wyatt my great grandfather passed that recipe down and he lived to be 99. He would of out fished both of us today Wyatt.”