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    Everglades

    National Park Florida

Everglades National Park Hosting Additional Public Meetings on Long Term Vision for the Park

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Public meeting Homestead Florida.
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Date: April 3, 2013
Contact: Fred Herling, Park Planner, 305-242-7704
Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Mary Plumb, Public Affairs Officer (Acting), 305-242-7714

 Everglades National Park has scheduled two additional public meetings on its Draft General Management Plan for April 16 (Marathon) and April 17 (Key West). Three public meetings were recently held in which important input was provided by the public and four meetings previously announced will take place next week. Based on interest from Congressman Joe Garcia and constituents in the middle and lower Keys, meetings will also be held in Marathon on April 16 and Key West on April 17. These meetings are being held throughout south Florida to facilitate public comment on the park's Draft General Management Plan / East Everglades Wilderness Study / Environmental Impact Statement (Draft GMP). The Draft GMP was released February 27 for public review, and public comment is requested by Sunday, May 12, 2013.

 

According to Superintendent Dan Kimball, "We are very pleased with the large turnout at the recent meetings and the great input and discussion between park managers and the public. We're looking forward to the remaining meetings being equally valuable in helping to see how we may strengthen the final plan." 

 

The Draft GMP provides broad guidance and describes desired conditions to be achieved and maintained regarding natural and cultural resource protection, appropriate types and levels of visitor activities, and facility improvements and development. Also included is a wilderness study for the East Everglades Addition (an area added to the park in 1989, after the park's original 1978 wilderness designation). The Draft GMP is available for review and comment at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ EVER (then go to the "Open for Comment" link). A limited number of paper copies and compact disks (CDs) of the plan are also available upon request by contacting Everglades National Park at 305-242-7700.

 

There are six upcoming opportunities for the public to participate in meetings in south Florida (meetings have already been held in Homestead, Islamorada, and Everglades City). The four meetings the week of April 8 are: Dania Beach (April 8), Naples (April 9), Key Largo (April 10) and Miami (April 11). The April 8 meeting will also be webcast live, so anyone with an Internet connection can view the proceedings using the link noted above.  The additional meetings are in Marathon (April 16) and Key West (April 17).

 

The public meetings are from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. and organized in three parts:

·         Open House - opportunities for the public to review Draft GMP materials, meet with National Park Service (NPS) staff, and provide comments

·         NPS Presentation - overview of key features of the Draft GMP                       

·         Formal Comment/East Everglades Wilderness Hearing - comment session that allows the public to comment on the Draft GMP and the East Everglades Wilderness Study (session will be transcribed or recorded)

 

After the comment period ends on May 12, public input will be reviewed and analyzed, and adjustments to the plan will be made. The Final GMP and Record of Decision will be issued in 2014. 

 

Schedule of remaining public meetings (all 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.):

#

Date

Address/Phone for directions

1.        

Monday,

April 8, 2013*

Int'l Game and Fish Association - Fishing Hall of Fame (1st floor Auditorium)

300 Gulfstream Way, Dania Beach, FL 33044

954-922-4212

2.        

Tuesday,

April 9, 2013

Edison State College, Collier Campus - Building J (east end of campus)

7007 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples, Florida 34113

239-732-3707

3.        

Wednesday, 

April 10, 2013

Monroe County (Murray Nelson) Government Center (1st floor Auditorium)

102050 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037

305-852-7161

4.        

Thursday,

April 11, 2013

Florida International University (Stadium Club - part of Football Stadium)

11200 SW 8th Street (Stadium address: 11310 SW 17th Street), Miami, FL 33199

305-348-4828

5.        

Tuesday,

April 16, 2013

Monroe County Government Center/Emergency Operations Center (EOC), 2ND Floor, 2798 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050

305-407-0177

6.        

Wednesday,

April 17, 2013

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Eco-Discovery Center,

33 E. Quay Road, Key West, FL 33040

305-809-4750

Driving directions to all meetings are posted at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ EVER.

*indicates meeting that will be webcast live on the Internet; see link above for details

 

-NPS-

More information on Everglades National Park can be found on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/ever/

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 395 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

The Everglades served as the backdrop for much of the military action during the Seminole Wars. The Seminole and Miccosukee people sought refuge within the isolated and relatively unknown expanse of land and water.