Doesn’t the EEL Program also have an obligation to provide public recreation on the land it manages?
Yes, The original ballot language stated “Shall Brevard County issue bonds, in a principal amount not exceeding Fifty-five Million Dollars and No Cents ($55,000,000.00), to finance the cost of acquiring, protecting and maintaining environmentally endangered lands, and making improvements as appropriate for passive recreation and environmental education….”
The EEL Sanctuary Management Manual defines passive recreation as “a recreation type of use, level of use and combination of uses that do not individually, or collectively, degrade the resource values, biological diversity, and aesthetic environmental qualities of a site.”
The EEL Land Acquisition Manual states that “The 1990 and 2004 voter-approved referendums direct the EEL Program to provide sanctuary management, passive recreation, and environmental education consistent with the conservation goals of the program. All Sanctuary activities will consider resource protection as the primary program goal, with public access and passive recreation as important secondary considerations. Public access will be allowed at all EEL Program sites; however, public access and types or levels of public use may be controlled to ensure the conservation and management goals of the program are achieved. No land use practices will be allowed that degrade the natural resource values of the sanctuary site or decrease the long-term sustainability of those natural resources.”