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Image: Split Oak Forest by Monivette Cordeiro
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Environmental activists rally to save the Split Oak Forest from an expanding toll road

Off the sandy path, Dave Wegman squats near a small burrow hidden behind scrub. “Careful,” he warns, pointing to the white sand circling the half-moon hole like a skirt. Gopher tortoises lay their eggs under the smooth surface, but it looks like no one’s home today. For several months, Wegman and other environmentalists have led treks through the Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area, a nearly 1,700-acre preserve on the outskirts of Orlando’s Lake Nona community. Aside from harboring the threatened gopher tortoise species, Split Oak is home to Florida scrub jays, sandhill cranes, Sherman’s fox squirrels, gopher frogs and bald eagles. No hunting, camping or biking is allowed in Split Oak – only hiking and permitted horse riding. …
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Image: Map of Sabal Trail Pipeline Route, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

The Sabal Trail Natural Gas Pipeline

Florida is late to the party, according to Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers. The Georgia environmental advocate doesn’t mean to sound disparaging – it’s the tone of someone who’s exhausted his options in a years-long battle to revoke permits and stop the Sabal Trail pipeline, a $3.2 billion project snaking 515 miles through Alabama, Georgia and Florida that’s meant to transport more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day. The pipeline, which sits above the Floridan aquifer, plans to tunnel under forests, ranches and several bodies of water until it reaches Osceola County, where a second pipeline will connect the compressor station near Reunion past Kissimmee and into the Hunter’s Creek area. Representatives from Spectra Energy and other …
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