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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Brien Culhane, 305-242-7717
Superintendent Dan Kimball announced today that Everglades National Park has extended the public scoping comment period for the potential land exchange with Florida Power and Light Company environmental assessment (EA). The comment period will continue through August 4, 2009 in response to public requests for additional time to review and comment on the scoping newsletter. This newsletter can be viewed or downloaded from the park website at
The National Park Service (NPS is initiating an environmental assessment to evaluate options and potential impacts for acquiring lands owned by the Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) within the East Everglades Addition of Everglades National Park. This will include the potential exchange of lands authorized in the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009 and other reasonable alternatives.
The Everglades National Park Protection and Expansion Act of 1989 expanded the boundaries of the park to include approximately 109,600 acres, and through that act and additional legislation authorized the NPS and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to acquire lands within the East Everglades Addition. FPL owns approximately 320 acres of undeveloped land within the East Everglades Addition. Because the FPL property is currently undeveloped and is needed for the restoration and enhancement of the ecosystem (through improvement of natural hydrologic conditions) the NPS is seeking to acquire the FPL property, manage it as part of the park, and maintain it in its undeveloped state.
The Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009 (Sec. 7107) authorized the Secretary of the Interior to exchange NPS lands in the Addition for the FPL property and to convey a perpetual easement on lands contiguous to the NPS exchange lands for the purpose of vegetation management. The potential land exchange would be subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary may require. Additional information about the project is provided in the attached newsletter.
The NPS is seeking public comments on the proposed acquisition and the alternatives and issues to be addressed in the environmental assessment.
Comments may be submitted electronically at the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Once on the website, select “Everglades NP” from the drop down box, then Acquisition of Florida Power and Light Lands/Environmental Assessment”, and “Open for Public Comment” box.
Comments may be mailed to:
National Park Service
Denver Service Center
Florida Power and Light Planning Team
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287
Once the environmental assessment is completed, it will be made available for public review for a 30-day period.
For more information or questions about the proposed Acquisition of FPL Lands / EA , contact Brien Culhane, Chief, Planning and Environmental Compliance at 305-242-7717 or Brien_Culhane@nps.gov.