In its heyday, the Homestead Air Force Base was a plum assignment, offering the best airplanes, flying important training assignments, and located in a thriving and supportive community. By the early 1990s, however, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process added the Homestead Air Force Base to the list of facilities proposed for realignment. Hurricane Andrew finalized that proposal when it bulldozed the Homestead Air Force Base in 1992. The end of the base was not fitting for the stellar career it had enjoyed. Realigning the Homestead Air Force Base, however, was worse than its abrupt and devastating ending.
Everglades Betrayal - The Issue that Defeated Al Gore takes readers through the journey of the BRAC process that identified Miami-Dade County as the recipient of the base for the purpose of developing an airport. Promises to make the transfer and realignment expedient met with difficulty when environmental activists noticed that an airport would negatively impact two of the country’s most beloved treasures: Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park.
These activists used the BRAC process and National Environmental Policy Act provisions to force a more thorough and accurate analysis of impacts. No one wanted, or expected, this issue to affect the 2000 presidential election. Yet, at a simple rally in 1999, far away from the Homestead Air Force Base, signs and protestors calling for protection of the greater Everglades ecosystem in south Florida greeted candidates.
Everglades Betrayal exposes strategies and their consequences in realigning the Homestead Air Force Base. It is an interesting case study for students of land use planning, environmental activists, public land managers, or political analysts. Once again, the Homestead Air Force Base provided useful lessons even though it was officially closed.
Everglades Betrayal– The Issue that Defeated Al Gore is now available to you online.