series: Kissimmee Basin: The Northern Everglades
air date: 5/04/13 4:00 AM
Travel with filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus along the Kissimmee River and surrounding regions. Meet the "Keepers of the Land" and experience a "sense of place" in the vast open spaces in the cattle country of Florida's private and public lands. Throughout the centuries, the Everglades have inspired strong emotion and debate among soldiers and poets, politicians and citizens. Its history is as broad and sprawling as the "River of Grass" itself. Although many stories have been told about the Everglades - from drainage to restoration - few have been told about where it all begins: the Kissimmee River Basin. Restoration and protection of the natural values of this vast, watery landscape may well hold the key to restoration of the Greater Everglades ecosystem. The Kissimmee Basin: The Northern Everglades invites you to take a trip up the Kissimmee Valley back through time to discover the well-reasoned, yet unforeseen consequences of a flood control project that turned the 103-mile long meandering river full of life, into a 52-mile long, multi-million dollar over-engineered channel that drained the surrounding wetlands, caused the disappearance of large flocks of wading birds, and a significant decline of an abundant freshwater fishery. "Kissimmee Basin area ... that's one of the areas of Florida that you can still go to and, if you look for it, it's there. You can see Florida just like it was seventy-five, a hundred, or more years ago." Patrick Smith, Author, A Land Remembered.
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