Don’t Destroy Endangered Lands to Make Room for Walmart

Target: Casey Cummings, Ram Realty Services CEO

Goal: Protect endangered lands from unnecessary commercial development

Dozens of acres of an endangered pine rockland in Florida may soon be destroyed to make way for a new Walmart.  Earlier this month, the University of Miami sold 88 acres of land in Miami-Dade county to Ram Realty Services, which plans to clear much of the endangered land and replace it with several commercial and residential spaces.  Along with a 158,000-square-foot Walmart, Ram Realty Services has plans for an LA Fitness, Chik-fil-A, and nearly 1,000 apartments; Ram has shown little concern for the wildlife its project will greatly endanger.

Environmentalists are concerned about the implications this land development will have for the local wildlife.  Stripping this area will destroy countless rare and ecologically valuable plants, threatening the livelihood of several already endangered animals; two butterfly species, the Florida bonneted bat, the indigo snake, and the bald eagle could all be harmed if this development is carried out.

While Ram Realty Services has agreed to set aside 40 acres for a nature preserve, there are concerns that this is not enough.  There are approximately 40 species of plants and animals that grow exclusively in the pine rocklands, so any harm to this area has the great potential to cause lasting damage.  Everglades National Park is home to the largest segment of rockland in Florida, but of the endangered species native to rockland, most live outside outside of the park in unprotected areas spanning fewer than 3,000 acres.  Moreover, it is critical that we act to protect this significant habitat from the threat of commercial interests.

By signing the petition below, you will encourage Ram Realty Services not to level this unique stretch of land so as to protect the vulnerable flora and fauna that call it home.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Cummings,

The plans laid out after your group’s recent acquisition of 88 acres from the University of Miami is highly concerning, as they pose a threat to many at-risk wildlife species.  As the CEO of a realty group, it is important that you take care to ensure the wellbeing of all parties involved when making investment decisions.  Ram Realty Services’ mission statement clearly expresses your commitment to environmental sustainability, of which wildlife protection is a key component.  While your decision to set aside 40 acres for preservation purposes demonstrates good intentions, you should know that the land you plan to develop is home to many highly vulnerable species.

The decision to level nearly 50 acres of land to make way for a Walmart and several other buildings is lacking in foresight.  This land development could very well drive many species to extinction, forever damaging an irreplaceable stretch of land.  Beyond the obvious threat it poses for local wildlife, the leveling of this truly unique habitat would serve as a tremendous disservice to the many scientists, students, and other individuals interested in exploring this remarkable environment.

If Ram Realty Services carries out its plan to build a Walmart and other commercial buildings on this environmentally valuable and endangered pine rockland, the effects may be devastating and irreversible.  I urge you to reconsider your decision to clear out this very important stretch of land.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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