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Contact: Damon Doumlele, 239-695-1158
The National Park Service (NPS) is preparing an environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed project to rehabilitate and repair damage along 16.53 miles of Loop Road, the main scenic drive through the Preserve. The proposed project area includes approximately 5 miles of paved and 11.53 miles of gravel road. This road provides access to private properties, the Everglades Environmental Education Center, and is used by thousands of visitors each year. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), an EA is being prepared to analyze and disclose potential impacts of alternatives for rehabilitating and repairing the road.
A public scoping meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, at the Oasis Visitor Center auditorium on U.S. 41 about 20 miles east of Preserve Headquarters. Information will be provided regarding the current status of this effort, and NPS and Federal Highway Administration staff will be available to answer questions. The meeting will be held in an "open house" format. There will be a short introductory presentation at the beginning of the meeting, but the public is invited to visit at any point during the scheduled time to review materials and provide comments.
The Preserve is inviting public comments regarding potential issues and concerns that should be considered during the planning process. Comments can be provided at the meeting, by mail, or on-line. Before including an address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment including your personal identifying information may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
Comments by mail may be sent to: Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, Florida 34141-1000. Comments may also be made on-line at the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website by clicking here. Follow the appropriate links to Loop Road Rehabilitation and Repair.
Scoping comments are requested by May 15, 2010. Once the scoping period concludes, all comments submitted will be considered in the development of the alternatives and the EA. The public, agencies, and other interested parties will have an opportunity to review and comment on the EA.
We appreciate your input on this project.