Everglades National Park GMP/East Everglades Wilderness Study
June 2015 Update
The National Park Service (NPS) is developing a new general management plan (GMP) for Everglades National Park. The plan will also include an East Everglades Wilderness Study (EEWS) for the East Everglades Addition, an area added to the park boundary in 1989. The GMP will provide broad guidance for decisions about natural and cultural resource protection, appropriate types and levels of visitor activities, and facility development. The EEWS will identify a wilderness proposal for this area added to the authorized boundary of Everglades National Park after the original park wilderness study and 1978 wilderness legislation. The plan will articulate the park's mission, purpose, and significance, and define the resource conditions and visitor experiences that should be achieved and maintained over time. The plan will consider Everglades National Park both as a unit of the national park system and in a broader ecosystem context that includes the surrounding South Florida region.
Status and Next Steps:
The release of the Final GMP/EEWS/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the signing of the Record of Decision, which completes the EIS process, are scheduled for the summer and fall 2015, respectively. The public will be notified in a number of ways when the Final GMP/EEWS is available (e.g., Press Release, news stories, e-mail notifications to the public and stakeholders). Please check back for periodic updates with more detailed information. Thank you for your continued interest.
Prior update (2014):
The Draft General Management Plan/East Everglades Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP) public review and comment period took place from February 27 to May 12, 2013. Nine public meetings (more than 1,000 participants) and more than 20 additional stakeholder meetings, including South Florida Congressional delegation, were held. Also, 10 additional site visits, some with stakeholders, to key areas of the park took place this summer and fall to better understand resource conditions and identify best strategies for resource protection and visitor experiences. Comments from more than 15,000 individuals/groups were received and analyzed.
Comments were representative of a wide cross section of user groups and stakeholders who have been actively involved in the project over the years. As expected, the vast majority of comments focused on strategies to protect and provide reasonable access to Florida Bay and the East Everglades Addition. The planning team is working to refine the Preferred Alternative and other sections of the GMP based on the public comment and analysis.
Please contact the park at 305-242-7700