Judge Steps Into Brevard / Malabar Dispute

A long simmering disagreement between Brevard County and the town of Malabar over tree cutting on some conservation land may soon be ending. Brevard County Judge George T. Palk has ordered the county and Malabar to meet in an effort to try to resolve their disagreement over how many trees need to be cut down in an area that is also a sanctuary for some threatened Florida birds… scrub jays. The area that is the center of the conflict is known as the Malabar Scrub Sanctuary, and it is comprised of 577 acres. The potential removal of several thousand trees there is behind the controversy. The county says the trees need to be removed to save the scrub jays. The Town of Malabar though, says cutting too many of them would ruin the shaded oak hammock trail that is widely used by hikers and bicyclists.