Wildlife refuge is for birds not rockets, group tells NASA

An eclectic group of residents composed of birders, boaters, nudists and former NASA employees pleaded with the space agency not to build private launchpads near a world-renowned wildlife refuge, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“That you would even consider it boggles my mind,” Wes Biggs of Orlando told NASA representatives during a public hearing. “The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge isn’t just another refuge. It’s one of the jewels of the federal wildlife system, and it is known worldwide.”

NASA wants commercial companies to build new launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center. It is considering several possible locations. Residents urged agency officials to make use of an abandoned Air Force range for the project. However, agency officials said it would be difficult to obtain the land from the military.

Florida Today also has a story about the public hearing.