Snook Foundation Announces formation of Smart Development Workgroup

wildland water body

The Snook Foundation is proud to announce the appointment of Stephen Jara of Pristine Properties a participant with Cabela’s Trophy Properties as Chairman of the Smart Development Work Group.

The Snook Foundation’s Smart Development program will establish guidelines and help develop standards for new and existing communities and developments to participate in and be recognized as a certified Smart Development.

This program will equip Developers who recognize that in the future, buyers will flock to those who protect natural settings.

Smart Natural Development is attracting growing numbers of buyers who express care about environmental issues, wildlife, birds, fish, and green space.

A native who loves the land

Stephen Jara is a native Floridian and has his heart in land development and real estate, he has a deep bond for the land and open spaces and will be heading up the team whose project will be to protect wildlands.

Steve is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Snook Foundation is a licensed Real Estate Broker with the State of Florida.

He is an active member of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, a member of the West Palm Beach Fishing Club, and a Board Member with CCA in Palm Beach.

Steve enjoys hunting, fishing, ranching, golf, and his family. He and his family love to spend weekends on their Ranch in Okeechobee working their cattle, horses and enjoying the wildlife.

As a true steward of the land, his vision for the future is to see that the development and growth of Florida coexist with the environment and that development and growth complement each other.

It will only take a few minutes of reading the linked document to learn What’s at Stake for Florida. Our population will double in the next fifty years.

You are invited to join us and take part in the Smart Development workgroup to help bring the anglers unique perspective to bear on the issues outlined

As a Realtor and developer, and a conservationist, Steve Jara brings a lifetime of living in Florida as a hunter and angler to the effort.

The Snook Foundation’s desire in establishing guidelines for Smart Development is in line with its goal of benefiting essential inshore game fish habitat.

You are invited to contact and join Steve in these efforts. Partnership opportunities are open and the invitation will be offered to those who are willing to be involved in the future growth and development of Florida.

Consider the Land today, with its burgeoning population and the infrastructure in place needed to support all the people who have settled here because they love the sun, sand, and wild beauty.

This incredible growth has caused a dramatic loss of wildlands. This loss includes uplands, sandhills, rivers, estuaries, wetlands, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows, and the wildlife they once supported.

Much of Florida’s unique environment has been exchanged for streets, developments, shopping malls, and lawns.

The value and fragility of our habitats were unimaginable In 1958. Fifty years ago the entire State of Florida had a population of less than 1.5 million.

At that time any angler could keep four snook, fifty redfish, and fifty trout, with no limits on mangrove snapper, black drum, and flounder every day and that included a two-day bag limit allowed in your possession.

Three anglers fishing together could legally have 48 snook 300 redfish and 300 trout. In the midst of such abundance, it was hard to imagine Florida with today’s population of some 18.5 million.

In 1521, when Ponce de Leon came to Florida, he brought horses and cattle, establishing Florida as the oldest cattle raising state in the country.

At that time through the 50s, nearly 100% of Florida real estate was managed by 10% of the population. Today land ownership is in the hands of 90% of the population.

Our need to work together to manage what is left for our wildlife, birds, and fish has never been greater.

But unlike 1958, we can now imagine the loss that will ensue if we continue sprawling blob-type development to accommodate the estimated population of 36 million Floridians in 2060. Florida could lose 7,000,000 more acres of wildland.

We have a wonderful opportunity to make changes now. Rather than endless subdivisions, imagine Florida with strong communities linked by a green infrastructure that protects open space, farmland, and wildlife.

Armed with a better understanding than ever before of Florida’s essential ecosystems, the need now is for us to put our best minds together to plan for the future we want.

We have little chance of doing this without working together.

If you can, take a few moments to read the What’s at Stake for Florida?. In whatever community you live in, you can begin to make a difference.

And think about contributing your time and efforts with other Snook Foundation members to incorporate fishery protections into your community’s solutions.

Remember we are not alone but our perspective is dramatically different than those who would create another gated community with lawns, dredged feeder creeks, and golf courses that drain into the estuaries.

Steve Jara will be seeking committee members and will announce workshops that will be designed for formulating the plan for the workgroup in the weeks ahead.

He’s a great leader and a thoughtful, friendly guy with the ability to get this program accomplished.