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Hunting Management Plan/EA

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TThe National Park Service (NPS) has approved a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a Final Hunting Management Plan / Environmental Assessment (EA) for Big Cypress National Preserve. The development of this plan was a cooperative effort with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service and relied significantly on input from the public. The Draft Hunting Management Plan / EA was released to the public for review and comment from March 7th through April 21st, 2012. The comments and suggestions received from agencies, organizations, and the public were taken into consideration by the NPS, and a Revised Hunting Management Plan / Draft EA was released to the public for review and comment from July 19th through August 24th, 2012. The comments and suggestions received from agencies, organizations, and the public were again been taken into consideration by the NPS. The document was further revised to incorporate many of the comments and suggestions received during the previous public comment period. The NPS prepared a Second Revised Draft Hunting Management Plan / EA, which was posted for review and comment from December 21st, 2012 through February 14th, 2013. Comments received during this review period were incorporated into the Final Hunting Management Plan / EA, included as an attachment to the FONSI.

The purpose of this action is "To develop a hunting management plan for the Big Cypress National Preserve / Wildlife Management Area that allows the superintendent of the Preserve to provide for hunting opportunities in the Preserve in a manner that is in the best interest of the Preserve's resources and the public, while meeting the requirements set forth by the NPS, the Preserve's enabling legislation, the NPS/FWC Cooperative Partnership Agreement, and all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations."

The alternatives for this plan are as follows:

Alternative 1 - No Action – Apply Current Management to the Addition - Under alternative 1 (no action), management of hunting in the entire Preserve would occur in accordance with the NPS/FWC Cooperative Partnership Agreement.

Alternative 2 – No Hunting in the Addition – Under alternative 2, current hunting management would continue within the original Preserve boundaries, using the guidance outlined in the NPS/FWC Cooperative Partnership Agreement. In the Addition, public hunting would be prohibited.

Alternative 3 – New Adaptive Management Strategy – Under alternative 3, the NPS and the FWC, in consultation with the USFWS, would cooperate to implement an adaptive management strategy to manage hunting in the Preserve.

The National Park Service has selected alternative 3 for implementation.
Contact Information
Pedro Ramos
Big Cypress National Preserve
33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, Florida 34141-1000