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[ft-l] Florida National Scenic Trail Update, June, 2001



Florida National Scenic Trail Update
                                June, 2001

Over the past year, the volunteers of the Florida Trail Association and the
Student Conservation Association have constructed over 70 new miles of the
Florida National Scenic Trail, and have built 13 kiosks and 30 bridges and
boardwalks.  This coming October, we plan to continue this aggressive
construction pace by building 30 footbridges in Eglin Air Force Base,
constructing over 20 miles of FNST in the Ocala National Forest and Cross
Florida Greenway, and have a crew that focuses on other high priority FNST
construction and maintenance needs throughout the state.

To help us manage our trail construction program, FTA has hired Bob Hight
as our first FNST Construction Coordinator.  Bob joined FTA's FNST staff in
Tallahassee in May.  In this position, Bob will oversee and coordinate FNST
construction and maintenance activities with volunteers, land managers and
recruit, and trail crews.  Bob is a retired teacher and athletics
administrator from Illinois who has lived in Tallahassee for five years
while pursuing graduate degrees in geography and anthropology.  Bob's
experience as a manager and his skills in construction gained through his
landscaping business he ran in the summers will be a great asset to helping
us construct and improve the FNST.  We will also rely on Bob's experience
with GIS to help FTA better manage and protect the trail.  Bob is getting
out on the trail and getting to know our section leaders and land managers.
Bob can be reached at (850) 942-9324 or at rfhight@fs.fed.us.  Another
addition to our FNST staff is Brent Moore, who has replaced Franco Saraceno
as FNST Planner. Brent can be contacted at (850) 942-9308 or at
bmoore@fs.fed.us.

This past February, the FTA and the USDA Forest Service approved a
preferred route for the FNST.  This is serving as our guide for where we
will focus the $5 million in land acquisition funding appropriated to the
National Forests in Florida to protect the corridor of the FNST.  The
National Forests in Florida has hired Kyle Jones to be its first negotiator
for land acquisition for the FNST.  Kyle formerly acquired land for The
Nature Conservancy and is joining the FNST team in July.  Our FNST team
includes staff from both the FTA and USDA Forest Service working together
to plan the trail route, identify the tracts and landowners to contact,
negotiate deals to acquire the land, construct the trail and management the
land the trail crosses.  FTA's FNST staff team members are Howard Pardue,
Bob, Brent, Deb Blick and myself.  National Forests in Florida's FNST team
members are Kyle, Mark Warren and David Coleman, who is assisting with
surveying.  If you have questions, please contact me at (850) 942-9376 or
via e-mail at kwimmer@fs.fed.us or at 325 John Knox Road, F-100,
Tallahassee, FL 32303-4160.


Kent L. Wimmer, FNST Liaison
 June 5, 2001


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Kent L. Wimmer, AICP
Florida National Scenic Trail Liaison
Florida Trail Association, Inc.
kwimmer@fs.fed.us
(850) 942-9376 (w)
(850) 942-9378 (fax)
(850) 386-8442 (h)
Mailing address:
USDA Forest Service
National Forests in Florida
325 John Knox Rd, F-100
Tallahassee, FL 32303-4160
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