Andrews Nursery to stay open

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

Andrews Nursery, Florida's only state-run nursery, won't be closing down any time soon, though there will be some changes to the operation.

State Rep. Halsey Beshears (R - District 7) filed a bill in February aimed at closing the establishment, though it was met with some opposition from Florida timber growers. The bill died May 3.

Florida Forestry Association President Lyntetta Usher Griner, of Chiefland, said she's glad to hear the nursery, which has been in operation for more than 50 years, will stay open.

"It's important, personally, and it's important for the timber industry as a whole," she said last week, adding that the nursery specializes in a particular species of pine tree important to areas of south Florida.

"The bill didn't die," said Beshears in a phone interview May 24. "The state agency begged us not to press it." 

And legislators didn't, but Beshears said the Florida Forest Service, the agency that runs the nursery, agreed to adjust the nursery's prices and not sell to private growers.

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