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News Release

RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462


For Release:

March 17, 2000

Contact:

Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

DEM TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO MANAGEMENT AREA REGULATIONS

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management's Divisions of Forestry and Fish and Wildlife will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, March 29 to seek public comment on proposed changes to management area regulations concerning special events and motorcycle use.

The Department is proposing to designate authorized motorcycle trails in the Arcadia Management Area, with motorcycles confined to those trails, and to implement a policy limiting special events attracting 75 or more people to four per year at both the Arcadia and George Washington Management Areas.

"Management area regulation is driven by our responsibility for protecting habitat and the animals that inhabit it, the fundamental yardstick against which all uses must be measured," said Malcolm Grant, DEM Associate Director, Bureau of Natural Resources. "We must provide adequate habitat protection while offering recreational opportunities. These proposed regulations are designed to ensure that habitat protection and recreational use can co-exist."

A small regulatory change, prohibiting the use of fishing float tubes at designated bathing areas, is also proposed, as is a change in check-in and check-out times at the George Washington Management Area to allow more time for campsite preparation.

DEM has chosen a centralized location for the March 29 hearing. It will take place at 7 p.m. at the Warwick Police Station, 99 Veteran's Memorial Drive in the Apponaug section of Warwick, easily accessible from Route 95. The meeting room is handicapped accessible.

Attendees can comment at the hearing or submit written comments by March 29 to the DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife at the Oliver Stedman Government Center, 4808 Tower Hill Rd., Wakefield, RI 02879 (fax: 783-4460.)

The proposed regulations are available at the Fish and Wildlife office in the Stedman Government Center, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. They are also available at DEM's Technical and Customer Assistance Office at DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can also be found on DEM's website at http://www.dem.state.ri.us.


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