John Brady Photography Journal: Save Our Creek
Save our Creek
The fight to re-open Fisheating Creek
The topic came up in one of my earlier posts about Fisheating Creek, here's my description of the fight to reopen Fisheating Creek after Lykes closed it.
Located in Florida, Fisheating Creek had long been a beloved waterway for outdoor enthusiasts. In the 1960s, Lykes Brothers, a company with extensive cattle ranching operations,purchased a large portion of the land surrounding the creek. Lykes owns about two thirds of the land surrounding the 51 mile creek.
In 1989, concerned about public access impacting their cattle and properties, Lykes strung barbed wire across the creek and closed it to the public. Starting a decades long dispute.
The group Save our Creek was formed and sued Lykes to re-open the creek. Paddlers, anglers, conservationists, and locals who cherished the creek rallied to fight for its reopening. They organized protests, formed advocacy groups, lobbied government officials, and engaged in legal challenges. Key arguments centered on public access rights to navigable waterways and environmental protection. In 1999, the case was decided against Lykes, the group fighting them was able to prove that the creek was navigable dating back to civil war era, when it was mapped from beginning to end. Lykes was forced to remove the fencing and barricades they had constructed and the creek is again open to generations of families to enjoy.
I was not part of the original fight to reopen the creek, I share my images from this creek and many others, to help people better understand the need to preserve these places of history and beauty.