For Immediate Release
July 29, 1998

Contact: Tom MacKenzie
404-679-7291

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT ON TECHNICAL/AGENCY DRAFT
MULTI-SPECIES RECOVERY PLAN FOR SOUTH FLORIDA

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on the second and final volume of a multi-species recovery plan for South Florida.

Volume II, "The Ecosystem," provides an overview of the South Florida ecosystem, and discusses the biological composition, status, trends, management, and restoration needs of 23 major ecological communities in this region. It describes a holistic approach to species recovery by including recommendations on how to manage, reconstruct, or restore these ecological communities in ways that will optimize benefits to the greatest number of imperilled animals and plants.

This volume incorporates needs for species of concern in addition to the federally listed species identified in Volume I. The first volume of this recovery plan, "The Species," was made available for public review and comment in March of this year. It contains information on the biology, ecology, distribution, status, trends, management, and recovery actions needed for the 68 federally-listed species that occur in South Florida.

According to the Service's South East Regional Director, Sam D. Hamilton, it is very important for the agency to know what the public thinks about an ecosystem-based approach to recovering the species in South Florida.

The Service will collect written public comments on the entire draft recovery plan until September 30, 1998. Forward comments to: Dawn Jennings, South Florida Field Office, 1360 U.S. Hwy. 1, Suite 5, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

Copies of the draft plan (printed copies or computer text files on CD-ROM), may be obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publications Unit, National Conservation Training Center, c/o Aramark, Rt. 1 Box 166, Shepherd Grade Rd., Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443, (304)876-7203. Requests for CD-ROM files is preferred to avoid costs incurred in shipping the lengthy reports (1,300 pages and 900 pages for Volumes I and II, respectively). Volume II may also be viewed or downloaded from the Service's South Florida Ecological Service's Field Office website at: http://www.fws.gov/r4eao/esvb.htm.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service's nearly 93 million acres include 514 national wildlife refuges, 78 ecological services field stations, 66 national fish hatcheries, 50 wildlife coordination areas, and 38 wetland management districts with waterfowl production areas.

The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, administers the Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes Federal excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies. This program is a cornerstone of the Nation's wildlife management efforts, funding fish and wildlife restoration, boating access, hunter education, shooting ranges, and related projects across America.

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Release #: R98-066


1998 News Releases

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