Park adds 7th public meeting for public comment on the General Management Plan Preliminary Alternatives for Everglades National Park
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Fred Herling, 305-242-7704
Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball announced today that the park has scheduled an additional public meeting for the public to comment on the proposed General Management Plan Preliminary Alternatives. This meeting will be in Naples, July 11, 2007 at Edison College, Collier County Campus. “We have had such an overwhelming response at the six public meetings we have held the past few weeks that we have decided to add a seventh meeting in response to requests from park users in the southwest Florida area,” said Superintendent Kimball.
Edison College - Collier County Campus, Building J, Rooms 103/104
Time: 5:30 - 8:00 pm
There will be overview presentations at 6:00 presented by Superintendent Dan Kimball, with discussion sessions before and after this presentation to learn more about the project through informational displays, and by asking questions and providing your ideas to park staff.
Tamiami Trail (US 41) to Collier Blvd/SR 951. Go north on SR 951 approximately 3 miles to Lely Cultural Parkway (turn left at the light) and go about 1 mile to the entance to Edison College, which will be on your right. Follow signs to Building J. There is a parking lot in front of the building. Rooms 103/104 are at the main entrance to Building J.
Everglades National Park has been involved in a planning process to update the “General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement” that will guide park management for the next 20 years. All national parks are required to have an approved general management plan. “Everglades National Park has not had a comprehensive plan since its 1979 master plan. A new management plan is needed to assist the park in addressing the many complex issues that have arisen since that time,” says Superintendent Dan Kimball. As part of the process of developing this plan, the Preliminary Alternatives newsletter and a Newsletter Supplement was published and distributed prior to the six public meetings in June.
“We have had over 1200 participants in these public meetings from communities throughout south Florida. I have heard firsthand from many of you what a special place Everglades National Park is and how much you care about this place. As we approach our 60th anniversary as a National Park, we look forward to continuing to work with you in this planning effort and trust that with your involvement, Everglades National Park will continue to be an integral part of the cultural and natural history of south Florida and part of the family history enjoyed by so many residents for another 60 years” stated Superintendent Dan Kimball.
The public comment period closes July 31, 2007. If you were not able to attend one of the workshops there are several other ways to participate:
Visit the NPS Planning website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov to learn more about the project, view or download the newsletters and comment form, and submit comments via the internet. Simply select “Everglades National Park” from the drop down box and then follow the link for the General Management Plan/East Everglades Wilderness Study.
To receive a copy of the newsletter and supplement by mail, please call the park at 305-242-7700. If you are prompted by the voicemail system, press 2 at the 1st prompt and press 5 at the second prompt to leave your mailing address information.
Following the public comment period, the planning team will analyze the input and begin the process of selecting a preferred alternative. The team will prepare the Draft GMP / East Everglades Wilderness Study (EEWS) / Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) over the next year, releasing the draft in mid-2008. The Final GMP / EEWS / EIS and Record of Decision are presently on target for approval in 2009.
“I invite your participation and look forward to hearing from you in the next step of developing this plan,” says Kimball. “There are many ways for you to provide input, through written comment forms distributed at public meetings and available on line. For more information or questions, contact Fred Herling, Everglades National Park Planner at 305-242-7704 or e-mail us.
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Did You Know?
The Everglades used to span from Lake Okeechobee in central Florida all the way down to Florida Bay. Now only 25% of the historic Everglades remains, which is being protected by the National Park.