Gov. Ron DeSantis made new appointments to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) last week.
On Friday, July 19, DeSantis appointed Steven Hudson and Rodney Barreto.
To “help advance our state’s conservation mission and help preserve Florida’s natural resources for the enjoyment of all,” said DeSantis in a news release.
The appointments are subject to anticipated confirmation by the Florida Senate.
Hudson, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, is the President & CEO of Hudson Capital Group and formerly served as Chairman of Humane Society of Broward County.
He is also a “founding board member of the Marine Research Hub, an alliance of marine research universities and community supporters headquartered in South Florida,” according to a news release.
Hudson’s appointment fills a seat left vacant when DeSantis rescinded the appointment of Carlos Beruff by Rick Scott in January
Barreto, who hails from Coral Gables, is the President & CEO of Barreto Group, “a diversified company specializing in corporate and public affairs consulting, real estate investment and development,” per the company’s website.
Barreto served 10 years for FWC, appointed and re-appointed by officials across the partisan aisle, during which time he was elected by his peers to serve as Chairman of that Commission an impressive seven times.
He will have a five-year appointment.
“I am pleased to appoint Steven Hudson and Rodney Barreto to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to help advance our state’s conservation mission and help preserve Florida’s natural resources for the enjoyment of all,” DeSantis said.
“These individuals have a proven track record of public service and professional experience working to protect Florida’s environment and wildlife.”
CEO of the Everglades Foundation, Eric Eikenberg calls the new appointees “proven leaders in their own right who have demonstrated a care, depth and knowledge for the preservation of wildlife and habitat conservation, including the Everglades, to the benefit of future generations to come.”
It may be pre-emptive for the FWC to celebrate, however. These appointments come amid criticism that the commission has failed to do its job regulating the use of herbicides in lakes.
What impact will these appointments have on the issues affecting Floridians today? It isn’t clear.
What’s clear is constituents aren’t happy with the responses of current commissioners on important environmental issues, as evidenced by a YouTube video uploaded by a concerned citizen and local homebuilder, Mike Knepper.
Hudson and Barreto have been given the unique opportunity to change this perception if they are willing to make important changes in the name of Florida’s wildlife, like regulating herbicide use in Florida lakes.