Congressman Francis Rooney and Chairman Bishop Send Letter to Secretary Zinke on Python Problem

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Congressman Francis Rooney and Chairman Bishop Send Letter to Secretary Zinke on Python Problem, January 26, 2018 | Chris Berardi (202-897-7700) | comments

Washington, DC –Congressman Francis Rooney and Chairman Rob Bishop, of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a letter to Secretary Ryan Zinke seeking guidance from the Department of the Interior on a process to allow the taking of Burmese Pythons in Everglades National Park. 

With a $2 trillion economic impact, maintaining a healthy Everglades is critically important to a strong Florida economy. As the only subtropical ecosystem in the continental U.S., the Everglades is home to dozens of endangered and threatened species, as well as a diverse array of native wildlife. Burmese pythons, an invasive species, prey upon wildlife across South Florida, killing off rabbits, birds, bobcats, and other species essential to the Everglades ecosystem.

Congressman Rooney stated, “Maintaining the Everglades ecosystem is a priority and swift action must be taken to legalize hunting opportunities similar to the South Florida Water Management District’s Python Elimination Program. I want to thank Chairman Bishop for his leadership in asking the Interior Department to consider what can be done to stop these invasive species.” 

Chairman Rob Bishop stated, “I appreciate Rep. Rooney’s attention to this important matter. In coordination with the Department of the Interior and Florida partners, we will work to identify a solution that achieves a healthy and safe Everglades ecosystem and protects the state’s economy.”

Please see the full letter attached.

Background:

  • In August, Congressman Rooney participated in the SFWMD Python Elimination Program, where he helped capture and kill 5 Burmese pythons. One of those pythons hangs in his Congressional Office today.  
  • Congressman Rooney has spoken on the House floor asking for the Interior Department to take up a similar hunting program to the SFWMD Python Elimination Program.

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