INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - Each candidate was asked the same three questions and given 150 words to respond.
Q: How should the environmental sensitivity of habitats affect the use of pesticides and herbicides?
A: The use and distribution of pesticides and herbicides needs to be utilized in a manner that is in line with industry standards and is submissive to the environmental needs of the region. Pesticides and herbicides should not be used to the levels that they become a hazard to the local habitats. Therefore, continuous research and environmental studies should be conducted so as to ensure the local environment is not negatively affected by these chemical agents. While there are other factors that can negatively affect an environmental habitat, it is the local citizens’ responsibility to ensure that pesticides and herbicides are not one of these negative factors.
Q: Should IRSWCD recommendations concerning conservation practices on privately owned land be voluntary, or mandatory?
A: It is my belief that the IRSWCD recommendations should never be a mandatory edict on privately owned land. Rather the conservation agency should work with farmers and landowners to see the long-term benefits of environmental conservation. Additionally, the agency should look towards offering the private landowners financial and economic incentives for following the IRSWDC recommendations. Conservation practices should be implemented as a partnership between the government agency and the landowners with the ultimate goal of long-term economic and environmental sustainability.
Q: How do you approach the tension between using natural resources now vs. preserving natural resources for future generations?
A: The use and preservation of natural resources should always be approached from a local economic perspective. Landowners should be able to utilize enough resources in order to make a profit and to provide for their families, but not use up so many resources that there is nothing left for a future generation. Creating sustainable and long term plans for the use of natural resources is the best approach in balancing this tension.
Candidate David E. Gunter did not reply to our questions.