IT IS IMPORTANT TO STRESS THAT THE MOTORBOAT PROHIBITED AREAS ARE IN LAND LOCKED LAKES/BORROW PITS. OTHER WATER BODIES WILL NOT BE AFFECTED. DEP TELLS ME THESE LAND LOCKED LAKES/BORROW PITS CANNOT BE ACCESSED EXCEPT BY LAND. Of course, I could see where they will now have the power to limit trucks to certain roads and those roads won't be near the launching points of the landlocked lakes/borrow pits. skiers could be affected..but we have to be careful not to get people upset for no reason.
Link to maps http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/sites/default.htm
Department of Environmental Protection Proposes New Upland Management Rules The Department of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas has proposed rules to further regulate ³all state-owned natural islands and spoil islands within aquatic preserves² managed by it
Standing Watch has requested a formal hearing on this rule in order to raise the following issues:
1. The Department is changing its goal from ³providing public visitation and recreation² to providing ³low impact² public visitation and recreational opportunities and other uses consistent and compatible with its goals.² These goals include ³conservation of wetlands, natural and water resources and water quality of adjacent coastal resources.²
2. The Department will be limiting all motor vehicles to 25 mph speed in areas managed by it.
3. The Department will now require registration with its land managers in order to camp in any of the designated camping areas. The Department tells Standing Watch this is to ensure ³low impact² camping in areas where they have only designated two or three camping sites.
4. The Departmentıs current rule prohibits operation of personal watercraft in wetlands or low lying areas. The new rule will be expanded to prohibit all motor vessels in wetlands, low lying areas and interior water bodies which are completely surrounded by conservation lands.
5. The Department has statutory authority to levy fines for violating any of its rules. The violations will be non-criminal and will range in amount as follows:
$100 for ³non-destructive² violations such as entering the area after it is closed, possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages, not properly disposing of trash, distributing commercial materials in the managed area;
$250 for ³resource damage² violations such as operating a motor vehicle faster than 25 mph, fishing in areas closed to fishing, harassing, trapping, feeding or taking wildlife, having a domestic animal not on a leash, hiking, bicycle riding off of specific trails, camping without prior registration, introducing or removing any animal or plant (living or dead) into the area, use of a motor vessel in restricted areas
$500 for ³public danger² violations such as leaving a fire unattended or shooting into a managed area, possessing firearms or any type of weapon which is potentially dangerous to wildlife and humans except those weapons used in hunting activities.
Please consult the maps linked to this notice. If you are affected, please contact Alex Cordero, at 850-488-3456 and express your concerns about this proposal. You can also reach Mr. Cordero through the Departmentıs email system. If you use email, please include Standing Watch as a recipient.
P.O. Box 296, Estero, FL 33928 E-mail
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