“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.

Lawsuit filed to challenge Adena Springs Ranch

June 3, 2014 at 7:58am

Three thousand, three hundred and seventy folks like you and me have submitted our objections to Adena Springs Ranch, the 30,000-acre grass fed beef operation planned near Silver Springs.

You probably thought that your comments would have been considered before the St. Johns River Water Management District announced their intention to grant permits to move the project forward.

They were not. How does it feel to be ignored?

So, to protect our shared interest in Florida water resources, we filed a lawsuit where we declared our belief that Adena SpringsRanch/Sleepy Creek Lands LLC and the District have not provided reasonable assurances that water resources will not be significantly affected.

We need your help to put on the best defense possible for our groundwater, wetlands, Silver Springs and the Silver and Ocklawaha rivers. Can you make a contribution today to the Water Protection Fund at Southern Legal Counsel? Just click the Donate button below or send a check to SLC, Water Protection Fund, 1229 NW 12th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601.

The lawsuit challenges permits for Phase I, the North Tract, of Adena Springs Ranch, which has now been parsed into three phases. Phase I is where the slaughterhouse is located where as many as 300 cows per day will be processed. Adjacent to the slaughterhouse is where thousands of animals will be fattened on grasses supplemented with grains (thought this was grass-fed beef!) to reach the appropriate weigh for maximum economic return for the Canadian Billionaire Stronach. Unlined retention ponds, tons of manure, rivers of urine, and yes, lots of fertilizer – get the picture?

This battle is about more than Silver Springs and the Ocklawaha and the small town of Ft. McCoy. We are fighting for the quality and quantity of water in our wells – our health and well being, the places where we swim, fish, enjoy and appreciate the best of north Florida.

Many Floridians have signed petitions, made calls and sent letters to express their outrage but we know that will not getting the job done. Please, dig deep to help us present the most up-to-date science and pay our attorneys their very reasonable fees to protect Florida’s environment. Please join the more than 300 individual contributors and donate whatever you can, as often as you can to the Water Protection Fund at Southern Legal Counsel. Please use the Donate button above or on the upper right side of this page or mail your check to SLC, Water Protection Fund, 1229 NW 12th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601.

Thank you for your help!

Karen Ahlers

Paddlers Charge Silver River, Protesting Expected Cattle Ranch

June 30, 2013.. read the entire article here.

Paddlers charge the iconic Silver River, protesting Adena Springs Ranch. Photo: Matt Keene

By Matt Keene / Earth First! Newswire

Grassfed beef ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Paddlers charge the iconic Silver River, protesting Adena Springs Ranch

This past Saturday, individuals concerned with the proposed ranch gathered alongside the iconic Silver River, a river formed from the discharge of Silver Springs, one of the largest natural artesian wells in the world. Silver Springs historically discharged over 550 million gallons of water per day. In recent years, though, its flow has decreased significantly. According to the New York Times, the “flow rate has dropped by a third over 10 years.” If Adena Springs Ranch gets the go ahead from state officials, its farming practices will have a direct impact on the flow and water quality of Silver Springs. read the entire article here.

Adena Protest Flotilla, Why? See slide show.
Silver Springs is in bad shape. The State allows it to keep getting worse. The intrepid paddlers that braved the rain found a dissapointing, unhealthy scene at the headspring. Gratitude to everyone that drove from all over to come to the event, paddled in the rain, donated online and supported the legal team’s efforts.

Money Well Spent

The St. Johns River Water Management District has issued a lengthy Request for Additional Information  for the amended consumptive use permit request for Adena Springs Ranch. After reviewing the applicant’s April 18, 2013, information submittal, District staff determined that additional technical information is needed regarding the application. On May 17, 2013, District staff sent a third RAI letter to Adena Springs Ranch. The applicant has until Sept. 16, 2013, to respond to the RAI letter or to request an extension to the response time frame. When the application is considered complete, District staff will determine if the requested allocation of water meets District permitting criteria.

Almost a year of professional, independent review that was funded by private foundations and citizens resulted in a substantial comment letter by attorney John Thomas. Your generous contributions paid for the efforts of Thomas and a team of topnotch professional scientists.

The letter resulted in the issuance of the RAI and is a solid indication that our strategy is working! Thanks to you we are effectively addressing the threat to Silver Springs and the Ocklawaha River.

The RAI will generate many more documents that require expert peer review. We want to continue the campaign to protect water resources by keeping Adena at bay. We need your help to raise the necessary funds.

Good News!

Water district has more questions for Adena Springs Ranch
Florida water regulators want more information from Adena Springs Ranch as they continue to review the farm’s request to draw an annual average of 5.3 million gallons of water per day in the Fort McCoy area.

One Adena official describes the regulators’ aggressive data gathering as “unprecedented,” and said the tactic should cause other agriculture businesses to be concerned. Read the entire article  Fred Hiers Staff writer Ocala Star Banner Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Take Action for Water!
Adena Springs Ranch wants 5.3 million gallons/day of water to irrigate pasture to feed thousands of cows.  This water will be drawn right out of the aquifer that feeds iconic Silver Springs that is already suffering a serious reduction in average flow—this project will reduce it even more. Manure and urine will pollute drinking water supplies and runoff will end up in Silver Springs and the Silver and Ocklawaha Rivers, both designated Outstanding Florida Waterways.

What you can do.

  1. Get informed. Read the most recent articles concerning our water.
  2. Sign the online petition to request that the Adena Springs Ranch CUP  is denied. Rick Scott and the SJRWMD board know that we do NOT want them to approve this request.
  3. Please call: Ask them not to let Silver Springs die on their watch.
    Gov. Rick Scott: 850.488.7146
    SJRWMD Governing Board Chair, Lad Daniels: 386.329.4214

This is an older but very interesting article which shows recent land purchases in the area.
Investor buys large tract of land in Ocala National Forest

August 22. Ocala Star
Adena Ranch to slash its request for water

August 22. Examiner.com
Adena Springs Ranch cuts water request by 60 percent

August 23. Ocala Star
Adena Springs looks to buy more land for satellite farms

August 22. Ocala Star
Editorial: Missing in action

August 19. Ocala Star by Bob Knight
Adena Springs Ranch: In the court of public opinion

Click on image to see the Orlando news coverage.

June 23. New York Times -
 Florida Struggles to Overcome Threats to Freshwater Springs

June 13th. Gville Sun -
Workshop set for June 23 over area’s water problems

May 27th – Ocala Star
Scientific evidence of a water crisis abounds as Adena Springs case unfolds


Woman making phone call underwater

Bruce Mozert’s amazing 1930s underwater photography. Click on image for info


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