By: Elizabeth Nickerson
October 7, 2013
Wakulla County, FL - The birds chirp around Wakulla Springs State Park. The state run natural resource may get more than national recognition after the Wakulla Springs Alliance seeks a nomination to be part of a United Nations controlled treaty.
"It adds additional attention, protections, and of course attraction of tourism and visitors to our area," said Howard Kessler, a Wakulla County Commissioner.
If approved by the UN's Ramsar Convention of Wetlands, it will be known as one of the World's important international resources. There is more than 2,000 sites already designated, but if approved it will be the first state park. Some board members like Ralph Thomas say, it's infringing on personal property rights.
"This is another one of those foreign entanglements where we open the door for something that sounds like a good idea and now we have international pressure that will further erode our individual liberties," said Ralph Thomas, a Wakulla County Commissioner.
The park attracts 200,000 people a year and according to Thomas it has enough tourism and protection.
"We just need to be careful, this place is definitely beautiful and its definitely important. We just need to be careful who we are aligning ourselves with," said Thomas.
The board of county commissioners would have been able to vote on whether or not to approve on the nomination, but after much controversy, the item was taken off the table. The nomination is still in the early stages of approval.