July 15, 2013
HOMESTEAD, Florida: Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball announced that the opening of the seasonal extension of the Jimmy's Lake idle-speed area will begin on July 15, 2013. The area is located within the Snake Bight Pole and Troll Zone, a 9,400-acre non-combustion engine use zone in northern Florida Bay, just east of Flamingo. In reaching his decision, Superintendent Kimball considered the public input of many that know Florida Bay extremely well, and additional site assessments conducted by park staff. The extension area will be open from July 15 through October 31, taking into account historic high summer water levels in the area.
According to Superintendent Kimball, “I'm a big believer in adaptive management and this project allows the park to try a new management approach and see how well it works.” Superintendent Kimball points to this modification to the Snake Bight Pole and Troll Zone as, “a great example of how knowledgeable park users and park managers can work together for the protection and enjoyment of Everglades National Park. I think a good outcome has been realized. We have been able to identify a way to provide additional access, while also ensuring that the natural and wilderness resources in the area remain protected. We look forward to getting feedback this summer on what visitors think about this change.”
The specific change is a seasonal extension of the idle-speed area in the Jimmy's Lake portion of the Snake Bight zone. The existing Jimmy's Lake area begins at Tin Can Channel and goes north for nearly 1 mile. With this seasonal change, the idle-speed extension area will continue north for an additional quarter mile, while maintaining the same 1000 foot width. The area will be delineated by signs at the end of the current northern boundary of Jimmy's Lake and three buoys at the end of the idle-speed extension area. The park received financial support for this project from the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation.
The Snake Bight Pole and Troll Zone, initially opened in January, 2011, was established to provide enhanced protection of Snake Bight's sensitive aquatic vegetation and wilderness resources, improve the quality of flats fishing, enhance paddling and wildlife viewing opportunities, and expand education on proper shallow water boating techniques. Funding for the implementation and scientific assessment of the project (which is ongoing) was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Flamingo Friendly Fishing Tournament, the South Florida National Parks Trust, as well as the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation.
For more project information visit: http://www.nps.gov/ever/parkmgmt/poleandtroll.htm