Update on Park General Management Plan
Contact: General Information , 305-242-7700
Contact: Media Contact Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Project Manager Fred Herling, 305-242-7704
In light of government-wide funding cutbacks and concerns about new construction in coastal sites around the country that are susceptible to major storms and flooding the National Park Service (NPS) is reconsidering how best to improve Everglades National Park's facilities at Flamingo and in Everglades City. This new focus has slowed the completion of the General Management Plan (GMP) process that the park has been developing in recent years to incorporate these required revisions consistent with tighter budgets and potential impacts of climate change to this resource. The park anticipates release of the Draft GMP for public review and comment in 2013. The final GMP is expected to be completed in 2014. For more information about the GMP go to: http:www.nps.gov/ever/parkmgmt/ever-general-management-plan.htm.
Superintendent, Dan Kimball, is pleased to announce progress in this effort with a new path for future planning and development at the popular Flamingo and Everglades City sites. Revised options for these sites will incorporate more cost-effective and sustainable approaches for improving these two important destinations in the park!
Establishing long-term direction for the Flamingo and the Gulf Coast sites that is realistic and feasible is fundamental to the GMP effort. This requires taking into account existing and projected budget constraints, the susceptibility of these low-lying coastal sites to intense storms and flooding, and providing future concessioners at both sites with viable business opportunities.
The Flamingo and Gulf Coast segments of the GMP are evolving on separate tracks.
Redevelopment of this area will be scaled back from the plans developed in 2008 and 2010 and will culminate in a new, long-term concessions contract that will be developed based on a financial and market analyses that informs the scope and terms of the Concessions Prospectus (or Request for Proposals) that will go out to potential bidders. The ultimate contract negotiated between the NPS and the slected concessioner should be awarded in late 2013 and will identify the facilities and services that will be provided at Flamingo. Though the scope of the Flamingo redevelopment is being scaled back, the analysis informing the next concessions contract is tied to the important principles and public involvement that occurred in the 2008 Commercial Services Plan (http://www.nps.gov/ever/parkmgmt/flamingo-commercial-services-plant.htm) and the 2010 Master Plan that provided additional details (http://www.nps.gov/ever/parkmgmt/flamingomasterplan.htm.
Gulf Coast Site Redevelopment
The park is seeking the public's ideas and suggestions for how best to provide visitor opportunities, meet park operational needs, and support future concessions operations in the Gulf Coast District. The existing facilities and related infrastructure were constructed in 1966 and have undergone minimal changes and few improvements over the years. These facilities have become functionally obsolete, structurally unsound, and are at-risk in this low-lying coastal setting.
You are invited to attend a public meeting about this project!
Thursday, January 19, 2012 5:30-8:00 p.m. at
Big Cypress National Preserve Welcome Center
33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141
(2.5 miles east of Tamiami Trail and Route 29 intersection)
The first hour will be an open house to give everyone an opportunity to review project information, talk with staff and provide comments. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a short presentation about the project followed by additional public comment and discussion.
Additional information including the project newsletter can be found and comments submitted on line at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=40014
Additional details on the public meeting will be issued closer to the event.
Did You Know?
Over the course of thousands of years, the natural communities of South Florida have become well adapted to the devastating effects of seasonal hurricanes. In fact, such storms are considered an important element in the long-term health of the Everglades.