IGFA Comments on Everglades National Park General Management Plan
Angler access to Everglades National Park (ENP) has recently made headlines as proposed poll and troll zones threaten to close 1/3 of the park to combustion engine use.
ENP Staff have hosted public workshops across the state of Florida to share and hear feedback on the Draft General Management Plan/East Everglades Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement (draft GMP), and the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) submitted comments on this plan just before the close of the comment period on May 9th.
While acknowledging the importance of the submerged ecology and wilderness experience available at ENP, the IGFA observed that proposed alternative would be highly restrictive and difficult to delineate and implement. Additionally, the GMP’s preferred alternative did not recognize the myriad of existing channels and sloughs that allow small boats to safely and responsibly navigate Florida Bay. IGFA worked closely with other groups such as Florida Keys Outfitters, Bonefish Tarpon Trust and Coastal Conservation Association to develop maps that added these existing routes that would much improve boater access in the proposed poll and troll areas.
The IGFA also proposed that boaters who frequent ENP be required to take an education course, available both online and in-person and focusing on the difference between navigating small and large vessels in ENP. IGFA further recommended - and volunteered to participate in - an advisory body of stakeholders to help ENP staff in developing and implementing future management in the park.
For the full comments submitted by the IGFA to Everglades National Park on the Draft General Management Plan, please click here. For more information on Everglades National Park and the proposed alternative, visit the ENP website.
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