OKEECHOBEE—Audubon Florida Executive Director Eric Draper knew, with only 5 minutes to present their cases, he and other environmentalists had little to no chance of stopping the no-bid lease extensions for two giant agricultural concerns.

 

And Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet didn’t surprise him.

That cabinet on Wednesday, Jan. 23, unanimously approved 30-year, no-bid leases for A. Duda & Sons and Florida Crystals in southern Glades County despite the objections of the environmentalists...