Phil Buchanan, 72, of Saint James City unexpectedly passed away Thursday, May 20, 2016. Initial reports were that he went on his regular walk with his dog. When the dog was found wandering the neighborhood, a search began to find Buchanan who was subsequently found nearby. A cause of death has not yet been released.
Born and raised on a North Carolina reservation, he graduated from high school in Lincolnton, N.C., then from the University of Maryland with a bachelor of law doctor degree.
After his career as a federal attorney he retired to St. James City and began a career as a environmental advocate. He became a certified master naturalist, wrote, “A Nature Lover's Guide to Pine Island," the proceeds of which he donated to the Calusa Land Trust.
As his email address alluded to, "firstname.lastname@example.org," he was born on a North Carolina Native American reservation, and graduated from high school in Lincolnton, N.C., then graduated from the University of Maryland with a law degree.
Buchanan was one of the original drafters of the Pine Island’s Land Use Plan in the mid 1990's. The Plan was an attempt to maintain Pine Island's building height-restricted rural character by managing growth.
The subject was challenged by some of the largest Pine Island tree farms (originally fruit farms over thirty years ago) who filed lawsuits against Lee county in an effort to overturn most of the provisions of the Plan. Originally suing for 200 million dollars, they settled out of court for 4 million with concessions and adjustments to the Plan loosening density restrictions. Buchanan made it clear that he was disappointed in this outcome since, among environmental problems, it didn't address the serious ingress and egress to Pine Island Proper.
He was a member of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association and the Calusa Land Trust and a number of other local and state environmental and wildlife organizations.