Biscayne National Park Meetings

Meetings regarding the new proposed management plans for BNP the next three days.

September 22 from 6-9 pm
Pioneer Florida Museum
826 South Krome Avenue
Florida City, FL 33034

September 23 from 6-9 pm
Newman Alumni Center
University of Miami
6200 San Amaro Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146

September 24 from 6-9 pm
Holiday Inn Key Largo
99701 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037
General Management Plan

Replies

  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,844 Captain
    They sure are having a lot of meetings. I hope that you folks down there won't suffer meeting fatigue and keep going. Lots of people, including me, live out of town but enjoy the park. So hopefully some sort of lobster diving will be allowed in the park after all these meetings, we shall see.
  • ahoyhoy239ahoyhoy239 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    Meetings begin tonight in Florida City and tomorrow at UM. For more information, read the newsletter in this link, submit a comment, and voice your opinion at a meeting!

    http://bit.ly/1shJvjT
  • Phinz13Phinz13 Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    I'll be at UM tomorrow!
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 215 Deckhand
    Went to the meeting tonight in Florida City, complete dog and pony show. They broke us up into groups then each group had a representative speak on their behalf. Everyone spoke against closed zones, asked for more law enforcement etc…
    Park service is going through the motions, they are going to implement one of the Alternatives, either 6 or 7, bring your vaseline folks cause they are gonna ram it to you any which way they want.
    One gentleman that spoke, said he personally has statements from Both Florida Senators, and both are completely against any Alternative. And they have pleaded with the park service to not implement them.
    Please go if you can but be prepared.
    ED
  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,844 Captain
    Thanks for taking the time to go to the meeting, ED. I am sorry that the outlook is so bleak. I am glad that our Senators are on board with being against any alternative. Too bad that doesn't hold a lot of weight.
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 215 Deckhand
    As noted in the special rulemaking requirements described on pages 98–99 in the 2011 Draft GMP/EIS, the National Park Service can close areas or otherwise regulate specific uses through special regulations published in 36 Code of Federal Regulations(CFR) when necessary for safety or resource protection. Several use limitations proposed under alternatives 6 and 7 would require special regulations. Implementing the special recreation zone (and potential subsequent conversion to a marine reserve zone) and noncombustion engine use zone would restrict uses of these areas and so would require special regulations under 36 CFR 1.5b.
    If alternative 6 is selected for implementation, a new memorandum of understanding with the National Park Service and the State of Florida would be established to implement the adaptive management strategy (appendix F). It would include cooperative development of a science and research plan to establish the methods used to collect and analyze data, thresholds for management action, responsibility for data collection and analysis, priority research needs, budgetary considerations, and other implementation- level details specific to the special recreation zone.
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 215 Deckhand
    Okay so last night I was so pissed about how this is being forced on us, I said to myself, "Ed they must know something that they are not sharing." So I did a bit more research and bang, I found it, in the post above: 36 CFR 1.5b
    I looked that up and found it gives the Superintendent of any national park the authority to: Click this link
    http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/1-5-closures-and-public-use-limits-19768147

    Summary if you don't click:
    Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property

    CHAPTER I: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
    PART 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS
    1.5 - Closures and public use limits.(a) Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the superintendent may:
    If you clicked on the link you will see that the super has the flexibility to do whatever he/she feels is the best for the park. And if shutting down areas is the way to go, then that's what they are going to do. I was reviewed 3 court cases where the park service used this law and unfortunately for us, the park service always won.
    So tonight if you go to a meeting state, "Mr. Super, we all know these meetings are all a joke, you intend to invoke Title 36 on us, and basically do what you want to do."
    Another observation I made, and this I have noticed from all meetings, the park staff giggles and smiles as folks speak out against the Alternatives, they have known all along that we are just going through the motions.
    I personally feel violated, thinking all this time that speaking and attending meetings could actually change the outcome. Got nothing else to say here.
    ED
  • ahoyhoy239ahoyhoy239 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    DirtySouth wrote: »
    Went to the meeting tonight in Florida City, complete dog and pony show. They broke us up into groups then each group had a representative speak on their behalf. Everyone spoke against closed zones, asked for more law enforcement etc…
    Park service is going through the motions, they are going to implement one of the Alternatives, either 6 or 7, bring your vaseline folks cause they are gonna ram it to you any which way they want.
    One gentleman that spoke, said he personally has statements from Both Florida Senators, and both are completely against any Alternative. And they have pleaded with the park service to not implement them.
    Please go if you can but be prepared.
    ED

    I was at the Florida City meeting last night and can echo the feeling that the NPS was going through these meetings like it was standard operating procedure to listen the public and do what they originally planned on doing anyways. Here is what I took away from the meeting:

    1. Public notice of meetings
    -NPS claims they have been advertising these meetings for years through their mailing list and the newspaper. That's a BS excuse for an advertising campaign. Where were the t.v. stations? Letters in the mail? You can get my address from my boat registration or the annual county boat ramp pass. Hand out flyers at the county ramps, tackle shops, and tell our local elected officials. The mayor of Homestead did not know there was a meeting in Florida City last night.
    -The approximately 100 people in attendance last night didn't even come close to representing the number of people that would be using a boat ramp like Homestead Bayfront on a typical weekend, let alone all the other county ramps combined. It was a relative no show of support because no one knew about it!

    2. Lack of enforcement/Mismanagement of funding
    -Earmark fines from violations right back into the park, not Washingtion D.C.
    -Every group at the meeting stated that for years there was a lack of enforcement. Many people said it had been years, if ever, since they has been boarded and had their catch inspected. NPS and other agency boats regularly sit at the docked with engines out of the water on weekends. The NPS dock next the the Bayfront channel has been in despair for a long time with yellow caution tape around it.
    -A NPS representative told me last night that there was a lack of funding to fix the dock, run the boats, or collect catch data at the boat ramp the way it is done at Flamingo. Tell me how then is it possible to support the "Additional Operational" Costs of $1.1-1.8 million for the proposed alternatives plus a $4.8 million "Visitor Center"? See Page 68 of the Biscayne National Park Supplemental Draft General Management Plan / Environmental Impact Statement- November 2013

    3. Discrimination against spearfishing
    -Unjustly labeled as a destructive practice
    -In fact it is selective and often times has a lower total catch compared to rod-and-reel
    -Reduced Lionfish control
    -Concerns about taking undersized fish need to be addressed through education, enforcement and species-specific size limits (The main concern here is Hogfish. A 12" hogfish barely has any meat after filleting. For years, responsible spearfisherman have been calling for an increase in the minimum size).

    4. Permit System/Seasonal Closures
    -Alternative 6 involves a permit system issued by annual random lottery that will unfairly distribute permits and restrict free public access to the park resources. Spearfishing is prohibited. Fishing pressure would then be concentrated away from the the Special Recreation Zone (SRZ) to other nearby reefs.
    -Alternative 7 creates a complete summer closure (June through September) thereby eliminating opportunities for families/children on break from school to use the park. This alternative has too broad in scope; instead closures should be applied on a species-specific basis (for example snapper spawning months, look at how snook have rebounded from these types of closures)
    -All alternatives have a direct negative impact on the local economy, including gas stations, tackle shops, dive shops, boat dealers, repair shops, dive operators, charter guides, hotels, etc.

    5. Suggestions
    -Start by using funds wisely to:
    • Increase law enforcement presence on the water and at the boat ramps
    • Enforce current regulations better instead of new rules that won't be enforced either
    • Add more mooring balls around patch reefs
    • Increase education and data collection efforts at the boat ramps
    • BNP is 95% water, spend more money on the water and not on mangrove boardwalks and $4.8 million dollar visitor centers for tourists.
    ​-Forget the permit system, there is no way to fairly distribute.

    As stakeholders of Biscayne National Park, it is our duty to stay informed about the issues and plans of the NPS and ensure that they listen to us (the boaters, fisherman, and divers) as they work to manage the Park resources by conserving while providing public access as has been done for generations. It is our duty to ensure that the public and our elected public officials are given adequate notice of these meetings; therefore we must spread the word to our family and friends, newspapers, radio, t.v. stations, and politicians so that everyone is aware of what is going on. You can do your part by attending a meeting or submitting public comment online. Please see the links below for more information.

    Submit a comment online (open until October 10th):
    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=61253

    Meeting Schedule and Locations:
    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/meetingNotices.cfm?projectID=11168

    Proposed Permit System (pdf download):

    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/showFile.cfm?projectID=11168&MIMEType=application%252Fpdf&filename=BISC%5Fpublic%5Fmeeting%5FFWC%5FPoster%5Fon%5FSAL%5FDec2103%2Epdf&sfid=172289
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 215 Deckhand
    Ahoyhoy, I hear ya man, but they got Title 36 CFR 1.5b. I'm telling you, you can talk to you are blue in the face, they are going through the motions.
    The only way, absolutely only way this crap doesn't get implemented is that a Federal Judge rules against it.
    CCA, Florida Sportsman Mag, someone has to file a lawsuit to stop it, and from what I found Title 36 trumps the majority of the time.
    Ed
  • wobbet60wobbet60 Posts: 35 Deckhand
    The time for talking to the park is over. Time for a lawsuit.
  • ahoyhoy239ahoyhoy239 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    DirtySouth wrote: »
    Ahoyhoy, I hear ya man, but they got Title 36 CFR 1.5b. I'm telling you, you can talk to you are blue in the face, they are going through the motions.
    The only way, absolutely only way this crap doesn't get implemented is that a Federal Judge rules against it.
    CCA, Florida Sportsman Mag, someone has to file a lawsuit to stop it, and from what I found Title 36 trumps the majority of the time.
    Ed

    We have to do what we can or we won't be left with anything. As it is, almost no one really knows about this stuff. I am currently trying to email politicians but some websites like Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson give me server errors when I try to submit the email form so if someone can try to get through I would appreciate them being made aware of this. I will try to make the news station aware of this as well.

    Here is a page with a list of Florida elected officials:
    http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/library/reports/elected-officials.pdf
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,268 Officer
    This fits right in to the federal govts tyrannical ways of operating where our rights as citizens are systematically stripped away. As stated previously, the public meetings are purely used as appeasement with no real influence in the decision making process. The outcome is already predetermined. Very sad state of affairs we are in here.
  • TidesrightTidesright Posts: 75 Deckhand
    Can anyone post a map or a link to the map showing the closures they are trying to imply. I can't seem to find one.
  • ahoyhoy239ahoyhoy239 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    Tidesright wrote: »
    Can anyone post a map or a link to the map showing the closures they are trying to imply. I can't seem to find one.

    You can also click through the links on this page for a summary rather than picking through the absurdly long (nearly 300) page plan

    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=353&projectID=11168&documentID=56865
  • OneFastt997OneFastt997 Posts: 124 Officer
    The reality is they are only restricting fishing on the wrecks and patch reefs off of elliot. I'm not saying their right but it's not like they are shutting the whole park down.
  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,844 Captain
    The reality is they are only restricting fishing on the wrecks and patch reefs off of elliot. I'm not saying their right but it's not like they are shutting the whole park down.

    I have enjoyed lobstering the patches off Elliot since the 1960s. I will miss it.
  • OneFastt997OneFastt997 Posts: 124 Officer
    I have enjoyed lobstering the patches off Elliot since the 1960s. I will miss it.

    Yeah, it's definitely a shame.
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,665 Captain
    The reality is they are only restricting fishing on the wrecks and patch reefs off of elliot. I'm not saying their right but it's not like they are shutting the whole park down.

    true, they are trying to shut down the most productive parts of the park where 80 percent of the fishing takes place.


  • ahoyhoy239ahoyhoy239 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    The reality is they are only restricting fishing on the wrecks and patch reefs off of elliot. I'm not saying their right but it's not like they are shutting the whole park down.
    alacrity wrote: »
    true, they are trying to shut down the most productive parts of the park where 80 percent of the fishing takes place.

    Problem is, closing those parts would increase the pressure and create overcrowding to the south and north. Think its bad now? Then you better enjoy it while you can...

    The real issue I believe is deeper than that, the problem is they are trying to spend tons of money on a new visitor center and kiosks for education when nobody reads the kiosks and the only people that go to visitor centers and kids on field trips and tourists. The park is 95% water, so if all these problems are with the nurseries and coral reef habitats, then spend the money there with increased enforcement and collect data from us at the boat ramps. Educating tourists does nothing to help the resource.
  • OneFastt997OneFastt997 Posts: 124 Officer
    That's a fair point. I didn't realize that area was so productive but I don't bottom fish so that's probably why.
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 215 Deckhand
    Also to piggyback on ahoyhoy, how about spending the money on artificial reefs. I can't remember the last time a ship was sunk as a reef. To be specific, cause I know someone will say they just recently did, but not in the park. And totally agree with you ahoyhoy, a visitor center, really. Actually they should buy a large boat to ferry people around the park, not build something on the mainland. But like I said earlier, we can give thousands of outstanding, reasonable, justifiable suggestions, but they are not going to listen, they no better.
  • followotherboatsfollowotherboats Posts: 445 Deckhand
    The Park is not listening at all. Why doesn't some one post up links to people that might. I was just thinking of getting a bigger boat but I will not if this goes though. Sad...very sad.
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Posts: 215 Deckhand
    This is the Law that the Park Service is using to implement the new Alternative. Like I have stated before, all the meetings, all the group talks, all the suggestions that you made are all apart of the process. Park Service just can't shut it down, they have to have justification and PUBLIC INPUT. Does that mean they have to listen to the public, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but unfortunately this is the truth. Someone needs file a lawsuit against the park service and PROVE that these draconian measures are not necessary. Please read the law, I am not making this crap up, I really wish I was.

    Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property


    CHAPTER I: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

    PART 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS

    1.5 - Closures and public use limits.(a) Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the superintendent may:

    (1) Establish, for all or a portion of a park area, a reasonable schedule of visiting hours, impose public use limits, or close all or a portion of a park area to all public use or to a specific use or activity.

    (2) Designate areas for a specific use or activity, or impose conditions or restrictions on a use or activity.

    (3) Terminate a restriction, limit, closure, designation, condition, or visiting hour restriction imposed under paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section.

    (b) Except in emergency situations, a closure, designation, use or activity restriction or condition, or the termination or relaxation of such, which is of a nature, magnitude and duration that will result in a significant alteration in the public use pattern of the park area, adversely affect the park's natural, aesthetic, scenic or cultural values, require a long-term or significant modification in the resource management objectives of the unit, or is of a highly controversial nature, shall be published as rulemaking in the Federal Register.

    (c) Except in emergency situations, prior to implementing or terminating a restriction, condition, public use limit or closure, the superintendent shall prepare a written determination justifying the action. That determination shall set forth the reason(s) the restriction, condition, public use limit or closure authorized by paragraph (a) has been established, and an explanation of why less restrictive measures will not suffice, or in the case of a termination of a restriction, condition, public use limit or closure previously established under paragraph (a), a determination as to why the restriction is no longer necessary and a finding that the termination will not adversely impact park resources. This determination shall be available to the public upon request.

    (d) To implement a public use limit, the superintendent may establish a permit, registration, or reservation system. Permits shall be issued in accordance with the criteria and procedures of ? 1.6 of this chapter.

    (e) Except in emergency situations, the public will be informed of closures, designations, and use or activity restrictions or conditions, visiting hours, public use limits, public use limit procedures, and the termination or relaxation of such, in accordance with ? 1.7 of this chapter.

    (f) Violating a closure, designation, use or activity restriction or condition, schedule of visiting hours, or public use limit is prohibited.

    [48 FR 30275, June 30, 1983, as amended at 51 FR 29470, Aug. 18, 1986]
  • ahoyhoy239ahoyhoy239 Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    Spearfishing in BNP is under attack and today is the last day to submit public comment on this issue. Please write a short comment expressing your opposition to any discriminating spearfishing regulations. Letting them do this will set a precedent for other areas of the state including the Keys which is currently undergoing the same type of management plan process that wants to restrict spearing. Pretty soon we will be left with nothing.

    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=61253
  • followotherboatsfollowotherboats Posts: 445 Deckhand
    Look at their comments on their facebook page. Look how they respond to my comment.

    https://www.facebook.com/BiscayneNPS/photos/a.253875197968060.63936.251864901502423/807676455921262/?type=1&theater
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