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Contact: Bob Degross, 239-695-1107
Contact: Damon Doumlele, 239-695-1158
Superintendent Pedro Ramos announced today that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Copeland Prairie Mitigation Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) has been signed by National Park Service (NPS) Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin and is posted online.
The EA examined two alternatives in detail, addressed the environmental impacts of each, and identified a preferred alternative.The FONSI documents the NPS' choice of the preferred alternative as its selected alternative.This alternative will restore 325 acres of on-site, degraded wetlands as mitigation for wetland impacts from stabilization of recreational off-road vehicle trails.
The restoration will be accomplished by 1) removal of abandoned farm roads that act as barriers to sheet flow, 2) rehabilitation of culverts to facilitate water flow to the site, and 3) installation of canal plugs to divert water to the culverts and to halt saltwater intrusion.
The mitigation site, now dominated by exotic and shrubby vegetation from altered hydrology, is expected to revert back to a mostly wet prairie habitat that once prevailed. The FONSI explains why the selected alternative will have no significant effects on the human environment.It is based on the EA and comments received from the public, agencies, and staff during the public review period, which concluded April 5, 2014.
The FONSI summarizes the public comments, lists the responses to those comments, and identifies changes to the text (errata) as a result of the comments.
The FONSI is posted on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website which you can access here.