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Everglades, Dry Tortugas, Biscayne National Parks and the Big Cypress National Preserve along with five (5) other South Florida and Caribbean parks are seeking public input, through November 22, 2006 on a proposed Exotic Plant Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EPMP/EIS). The parks included in the EPMP/EIS are Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Canaveral National Seashore, Dry Tortugas National Park, Everglades National Park, Buck Island Reef National Monument, Christiansted National Historic Site, Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve, and Virgin Islands National Park.
Park officials say the proposed plan and draft EIS analyze alternatives for establishing guidelines that would be used to determine when and how to manage non-native plants. This includes the use of mechanical, physical, chemical and biological control methods and criteria for considering use of passive or active restoration for treated areas.
Exotic plants are ecologically harmful, frequently displacing or otherwise impairing the function of native plant communities. They can also alter historic landscapes, damage cultural resources, and interfere with visitor use and enjoyment. The draft EIS looks at three management alternatives.
Those who wish to review and comment on this document may do so by visiting: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfmparkId=374&projectId=10033&documentID=16855.
Even though using this Website is recommended, written comments may also be submitted to: Sandy Hamilton, National Park Service - Environmental Quality Division, Academy Place, P.O. Box 25287, Denver CO 80225 or Everglades & Dry Tortugas National Parks, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, Fl 33034-6733, or Biscayne National Park, 9700 SW 328 Street, Homestead, FL 33033-5634, or Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East Ochopee, FL 34141-1000.
Comments must be postmarked, transmitted, or logged by midnight November 22, 2006. Comments will be considered in preparing the final plan and impact analysis. Comments are typically treated as a public record and made available for public review following the conclusion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Individuals may request that the National Park Service withhold their name and/or address from public disclosure. If you wish to do this, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. Individuals using the website can make such a request by checking the box "keep my contact information private.: NPA will honor such request to the extent allowable by law, but commenters should be aware that NPS may still be required to disclose a commenters name and address pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.
Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Park – Linda Friar 305-242-7714
Biscayne National Park – Elsa Alvear – 305-230-1144 X 3007
Big Cypress National Preserve – Bob DeGross - 239-695-1107