Open House for the Ten Thousand
Islands National Wildlife Refuge Plan
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites the public
to give their ideas about a proposed management plan for Florida's
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge on October 23, from
10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Fish and Wildlife
Refuge Service office at the Comfort Inn, 3860 Tollgate Boulevard,
in Naples. The proposed plan would guide the management of the refuge
over the next 15 years.
Located 20 miles southeast of Naples, and south of
U.S. Highway 41, the 35,000-acre Ten Thousand Islands Refuge protects
a unique estuarine ecosystem of fish and wildlife resources. The
refuge represents a variety of coastal habitats including mangrove
forests, freshwater marsh systems, interspersed freshwater ponds,
and small islands or hammocks of upland habitat.
As stated in the proposed plan, the vision for Ten
Thousand Islands Refuge is to become a "model for natural systems
management, featuring unique coastal marshes, islands, and subtropical
estuarine mangrove ecosystems. The refuge will provide essential
habitat for threatened and endangered species and will be an area
noted for its cultural resources. Through effective management and
partnering, the refuge will provide outstanding recreational opportunities
for present and future generations."
The proposed plan will benefit waterfowl and songbirds;
threatened and endangered species, and resident wildlife while providing
opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation and environmental
education. As required by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement
Act of 1997, an overriding concern reflected in the proposed plan
is that wildlife has first priority and that recreation and other
uses are allowed as long as they are compatible with wildlife conservation.
If you cannot attend the open house, you may obtain
a copy of the proposed plan by contacting: Jim Krakowski, Project
Leader, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, 3860 Tollgate Blvd., Suite 300, Naples, Florida
34114, telephone (941) 353-8442. The public is encouraged to review
the plan and send in their written comments to Mr. Krakowski at
the above address. These comments are needed by November 8, 1999,
to be considered in the preparation of the final plan.
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