A New Alternative

Over the past several weeks, we've been following the controversy surrounding Everglades National Park's proposed alternatives A, B, C and D for its General Management Plan. We've covered those alternatives in depth in previous posts, so there's no need to recap them here. But after nearly four weeks of effort, a group of concerned anglers and boaters representing the Hawley Foundation, Bonefish and Tarpon Unlimited, Florida Keys Guides Association, The Islamorada Fishing and Conservation Trust, The Ocean Reef Rod and Gun Club and the Islamorada Fishing Club has put together an additional alternative, Alternative E, that they plan to submit to ENP Superintendent Dan Kimball. The team consisted of Sandy Moret, Charlie Causey, Capt. Mike Ehlers, Capt Tad Burke, Jack Curlett, Dianne Harbaugh and Jim Trice. Although they don't represent the CCA, the Audubon Society, the Sanctuary Advisory Committee or the Coalition of Park Users, all or some are members of those various organizations. "I know some have a great distrust for the NPS and have a history of seeing an inch taken to a mile," says Trice. "And I know not all will value all of our recommendations. And I know some would prefer the Park do nothing - Alternative A. However, we feel A is as irresponsible as D, which essentially closes the park to most visitors." Trice also said he and the concerned group believe that alternatives B and C aren't viable and that increased restrictions on boating and motor vessels accomplish nothing in the way of gains for the environment or any other user groups. This ad hoc committee has worked hard to try to offer a better view of - and a better alternative to - the NPS proposals. Trice and his group are waiting to hear whether the Islamorada Village Council will support their alternative. For an in-depth view of Alternative E, visit www.alternativeE.com or go here to download a PDF of the plan: http://www.sportfishingmag.com/PDF/GMP_altE.pdf To voice your concerns or opinions on the entire process, visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?parkID=374&projectID;=11170&documentId;=19058. The period for public comment ends July 30. Stay tuned for further updates.