Wilderness Stewardship Plan

Everglades National Park » Wilderness Stewardship Plan » Document List

Dear Friend of Everglades National Park:

Everglades National Park is seeking public comment on the park's upcoming wilderness stewardship plan, which will guide the preservation, management and use of the park's wilderness lands. The National Park Service (NPS) manages 97% of the park's 1.5 million acres as wilderness, including submerged marine lands. A StoryMap with details is available in the "Document List" or "Open For Comment" on the left side of the page. Comments may be submitted from February 2 through March 31. 

The purpose of the wilderness stewardship plan is to guide the preservation, use and management of the park's established wilderness areas. In accordance with the Wilderness Act and other applicable laws and policies, the plan would provide long-term direction for preserving wilderness character; protecting natural and cultural resources; improving wilderness conditions by restoring habitats, conducting research, and managing for invasive species and other threats; and providing appropriate recreational opportunities for and encouraging public use and enjoyment of wilderness.

The NPS will host two virtual civic engagement meetings for the public to learn more and ask questions on February 28 and March 12 at 10 a.m. EST and 6 p.m. EST on both days. A link to join the virtual public meetings will be available on the left side of this page under "Meeting Notices." The meetings will begin with a presentation followed by a moderated question and answer session. One of the meetings will be recorded and available for viewing at "Links" on the left side of the page. 

Located within Everglades National Park, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness is the largest unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System east of the Rocky Mountains (for additional information see "Links" on left side of page). Established in 1934, Everglades National Park was considered wilderness 30 years before the Wilderness Act of 1964 was signed into law, and 44 years prior to its official wilderness designation in 1978.

The plan would provide general management direction for established wilderness areas, proposed areas for wilderness designation, and potential wilderness within the East Everglades Addition. The plan will also include developed and front country areas that serve as "gateways" to wilderness. This plan would replace Everglades National Park's 1981 Backcountry Management Plan and supplements its 2015 General Management Plan. 

To submit comments, click on "Open For Comment" on the left side of the page and then click on the StoryMap link under "Documents Open For Comment." On the next page, click the "Comment Now" button. Although submitting comments through this website is preferred, comments may also be mailed to: 

Attn: Wilderness Stewardship Plan   
Everglades National Park 
40001 State Road 9336 
Homestead, FL 33034 

Mailed comments must be postmarked by March 31. 

The next steps will include development of alternatives, additional public comment, and a management decision as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  

Contact Information

Daniel Noon