Final environmental assessment for Interagency Florida Panther Response Plan available
8:06 a.m., Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the availability of a final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Interagency Florida Panther Response Plan.
The response plan establishes guidelines for responding to and managing potential interactions between people and Florida panthers, and for educating the public about appropriate behavior when living and recreating in panther habitat.
The final Environmental Assessment and the plan are at:
The response plan is included in the assessment as Appendix C.
In a related development, the Service plans to release the final version of the updated Florida Panther Recovery Plan in the Federal Register before the end of calendar year. This plan outlines future goals and initiatives designed to stabilize and recover the population of this endangered species.
While there has never been a documented attack by a Florida panther on a human, panthers have killed livestock and pets.
The draft EA was published in May 2006 and a revised version was published in November 2007 for public comments. Comments were also solicited from the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. A peer review of the Response Plan was also conducted.
To obtain a written copy of the EA, contact Layne Hamilton, Project Leader, Southwest Florida Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 3860 Tollgate Blvd., Suite 300, Naples, Florida 34114, telephone 239/353-8442, ext. 227, or Elizabeth Souheaver, Southeast Regional Office, Fish and Wildlife Service, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 420, Atlanta, Georgia 30345, telephone 404-679-7163 or fax 404-679-4082.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting fish, wildlife, and plants, and enhancing their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at https://bigcatrescue.org
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