The National Park Service invites comments for Visitor Use Management Plan for Cumberland Island National Seashore
The National Park Service will hold public listening sessions as an initial step in the development of a visitor use management plan for Cumberland Island National Seashore, according to a news release from the NPS. The purpose of the plan is to provide appropriate opportunities for visitors to use, experience, and enjoy Cumberland Island National Seashore while ensuring the protection of natural, cultural, and scenic resources and values. The plan will identify strategies to enhance visitor enjoyment and protect resources, while determining the appropriate kinds and amounts of visitor use for the park.
The park is also encouraging online submissions of comments, suggestions, and concerns at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/CUIS. Comments can be submitted at this link (preferred method), or on comment cards are available at the Mainland Visitor Center (113 W. St. Marys St., St. Marys Ga 31558) to be considered official correspondence.
Cumberland Island is a remarkable place that includes some of the finest natural habitats on the east coast, as well as a rich cultural history that dates back 4,000 years. It is Georgia’s largest barrier island, encompassing more than 36,000 acres of maritime forests, salt marsh, and beaches. The island is also home to more than 9,800 acres of congressionally designated wilderness.
The park’s rich natural and cultural resources and uncrowded setting provides park visitors opportunities for solitude and exploration. The island’s beaches, flora, fauna, trails, and surrounding waters, as well as its cultural sites, present opportunities for a broad array of interests and recreational pursuits. The park’s mainland visitor center and mainland museum provide information for planning a trip to the park and to learn about the island’s meaningful history.
PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE – Members of the public are invited to attend one of two public listening sessions to learn more about the plan and share their ideas. The first will be held on Friday, April 12, from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the St. Mary’s Elementary School, 600 Osborne Street, St. Mary’s, Georgia. The second will be held on Saturday, April 13, from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the REI in Atlanta, 1800 NE Expy NE, Atlanta, Georgia. The National Park Service will accept written comments at the open houses and online.
“We encourage the public to get involved with the process and add your voice to the visitor use planning for the park,” said Gary Ingram, Cumberland Island National Seashore Superintendent. “At the listening sessions on April 12 and 13, we will be providing information about the park and hope to spread the word about this important effort. This is the beginning of the process, and there will be future opportunities to provide additional input.”
Cumberland Island National Seashore’s goal of the visitor use management plan is to establish a vision for the future by enhancing recreational opportunities for key visitor experiences, minimizing impacts to resources and experiences caused by visitor use, and determining appropriate kinds and amounts of access that protect the natural and cultural integrity of the park. The National Park Service intends to develop a plan that promotes relevancy, builds constituency, and provides sustainable access and opportunities. This plan will evaluate a range of strategies in a manner consistent with the purpose and significance of the park.
The National Park Service invites the public’s participation in the planning process for the Visitor Use Management Plan. For more specifics related to the development of a Visitor Use Management Plan, the National Park Service has prepared a newsletter and, beginning on March 26, will be accepting written suggestions, comments, and concerns regarding the options and strategies at the following website: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/cuis
COMMENTS ARE REQUESTED BY May 10, 2019.
For more information on the purpose, significance, and fundamental resources and values of the park, please download the park’s foundation document at: https://www.nps.gov/cuis/learn/management/upload/CUIS_FD_FINAL.pdf