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Florida Python Snakes - A Big Problem!

Jack Danchak - Columnist
Posted 1/23/20

Python snakes in the Florida Everglades is causing havoc with other wildlife. The Florida officials are encouraging hunters to capture or kill the giant invasive python snakes that are decimating …

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Florida Python Snakes - A Big Problem!

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Python snakes in the Florida Everglades is causing havoc with other wildlife. The Florida officials are encouraging hunters to capture or kill the giant invasive python snakes that are decimating local wildlife.

Dozens of hunters will be prowling the Everglades during Florida's 10-day Python Bowl Contest. Hunters will be armed with long metal hooks that resemble fireplace pokers and bags. Many hunters catch the snakes and take them in alive. Those who take the most longest and heaviest pythons each will win $2,000 in cash. Other prizes include off-the-road vehicles (ATV's).

The snakes were first found in the Everglades around the year of 2000, the snakes were introduced by pet owners and possibly a snake research facility that was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew that struck the region in 1992.

The pythons, some of which measure 18 feet long and weigh more than 100 lbs. have wreaked havoc on the fragile ecosystem. A 2012 study in the Everglades National Park by the United States Geological Survey found 99 percent fewer raccoons, 98 percent fewer opossums and 87 percent fewer bobcats. The snakes have been found trying to eat even alligators.

According to a 2019 report, contracted python hunters brought in about 1,900 snakes since the program was launched in 2017. The success has been hard fought, despite the snakes size and numbers, which are estimated to be in the hundreds and thousands.

Florida is having a snake problem like us here in the northeast is having a coyote problem. Hopefully these organized contests will help to deplete the snake and coyote population.

Natural Gas

royalty payments!

Pennsylvania's natural gas drilling royalty payments from gas companies to Pennsylvania landowners has just been reported by the PA Independent Fiscal Office to have been nearly $8.3 billion between 2010 and 2017, and is expected to reach $10 billion when the 2018 numbers are calculated.

That's $10 billion that went right into the pockets of landowners who spent it and improved the economy in their area and places like Susquehanna County alone received $1.3 billion, and what's even more important is that Pennsylvania's royalty payments are going to continue for several decades to come.

Jack danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.

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