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NATIONAL PARK SERVICE News Release
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Contact: David_Bryant@nps.gov, 404 -507-5615
National Park Service Seeks Public Comments on Plan to Protect Species of Concern on Southeast Coastlines
Comment period ends April 15, 2017
Public scoping webinars to be held April 4 and 6
ATLANTA– The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments to inform development of a regional environmental assessment that will examine options for protecting shorebirds, sea turtles and beach mice from the threat of predators at NPS units in the Southeast Region. The Coastal Species of Concern Predator Management Plan Programmatic Environmental Assessment (assessment) will evaluate the best available predator management options and analyze relevant environmental issues.
Many NPS southeast coastal parks have habitats that support species of concern, including parks in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and the US Virgin Islands. Some parks need a strategy to better protect species of concern, which includes both federally listed threatened and endangered species and state listed species — examples include: snowy and piping plover shorebirds, loggerhead sea turtle, green sea turtle, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, southeastern beach mouse and Perdido Key beach mouse — from such predators as coyote, raccoons, fox, feral hogs and others. Species of concern using coastal and dune habitats are especially vulnerable during their respective breeding seasons, generally falling between April and October. Once complete, affected parks may implement actions from the final assessment by first preparing site-specific plans.
The public is invited to submit comments on the project through April 15, 2017. NPS has arranged a series of opportunities to encourage public awareness and involvement in the project, including:
- Public scoping webinars scheduled for April 4 and 6 to present project information and review the preliminary alternatives. Registration is free and available online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/sero;
- Post-event viewing of project webinars, which will be recorded and archived on https://parkplanning.nps.gov/sero;
- A public scoping newsletter, including project details and preliminary draft alternative concepts, posted at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/sero;
- Periodic updates posted at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/sero
- Electronic and postal submission of written comments postmarked no later than April 15, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET to:
National Park Service
Planning and Compliance Division
Attn: SERO PEA
100 Alabama Street SW, 1924 Building
Atlanta, GA 30303
Select “Open for Comment” on the left menu.
Following the public comment period, NPS will analyze and consider all feedback and begin preparation of the draft assessment, which the public will also have an opportunity to comment on around Spring 2018.
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