“My husband Fred van Vonno worked as a Planner (GS-11) from June 1978 until 1982 for the Department of Interior, National Park Service, Regional Office, Atlanta Ga. His work involved assessing the “recreational potential of rivers and trails”. My husband was the Study Coordinator for the Loxahatchee and Myakka Wild and Scenic River studies”. -Nicki van Vonno
These news articles saved by Fred van Vonno, now loving shared by his wife Nicki, are now available for all. I learned so much reading through them and most are not available on line. Now they are! May we continue to study our past so that we may work towards the best future our beloved Loxahatchee River!
SLIDES RELATING TO THE LOXAHATCHEE RIVER (also see Lessons 4, 5, and 6 above)
Removed from a slide carousel used by Fred van Vonno who was a Planner (GS-11) from June 1978 until 1982 for the Department of Interior National Park Service, Regional Office in Atlanta, Ga. His work involved assessing the “recreational potential of rivers and trails.” The slides were used for presentations when van Vanno was the Study Coordinator for the Loxahatchee and Myakka Wild and Scenic River studies. It is a good idea to make sure these photographs are documented as many are more than 40 years old. I would think they would have been taken around 1980. ~Sandra Henderson Thurlow
In the lessons above, I have been sharing the archives of Mr Fred van Vonno who worked as a Planner (GS-11) from June 1978 until 1982 for the Department of Interior, National Park Service, Regional Office, Atlanta Georgia.
According to his wife, Nicki, his work involved assessing the recreational potential of rivers and trails and Fred was the Study Coordinator for the Loxahatchee and Myakka Wild and Scenic River studies.
One of the documents Mr van Vonno saved was the 1982 Wild and Scenic River Study, DraftEnvironmental Impact Statement. This declaration led to the Loxahatchee River being designated Florida’s first Wild and Scenic River. An incredible feat!
You may ask, “what is an Environmental Impact Statement anyway?” Basically, it is a rigorous requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 and thankfully it is still protecting the environment even today.
The FINAL Loxahatchee EIS is available on line. As of publishing this blog post, the DRAFT is too. It is always interesting to see the evolution of a document and to see what ends up on its pages, and what does not…
Please see link below for the DRAFT Wild and Scenic River Study, Environmental Impact Statement, July 1982, Loxahatchee River, Florida and thank you Mr van Vonno for saving!
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law on January 1, 1970. NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. The range of actions covered by NEPA is broad and includes:
making decisions on permit applications,
adopting federal land management actions, and
constructing highways and other publicly-owned facilities.
Using the NEPA process, agencies evaluate the environmental and related social and economic effects of their proposed actions. Agencies also provide opportunities for public review and comment on those evaluations.
On this page:
What does NEPA require?
How do federal agencies carry out the NEPA requirements?
What does NEPA require?
Title I of NEPA contains a Declaration of National Environmental Policy. This policy requires the federal government to use all practicable means to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.
Section 102 in Title I of the Act requires federal agencies to incorporate environmental considerations in their planning and decision-making through a systematic interdisciplinary approach. Specifically, all federal agencies are to prepare detailed statements assessing the environmental impact of and alternatives to major federal actions significantly affecting the environment. These statements are commonly referred to as Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and Environmental Assessments (EA).
In 1979, while getting his master’s degree in City Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mr. van Vonno, wrote a paper entitled, “Environmental Considerations in Wild and Scenic River Studies.” In this paper he primarily juxtaposes the Obed River of Tennessee and the Myakka River of Florida to make his point regarding environmental issues. But the following year, van Vonno would be conducting the Loxahatchee River National Wild and Scenic River Study in Martin and Palm Beach counties with Luther Winsor, Chief, Division of Resource Area Studies for the Southeast Region of the National Park Service. (Evening Times, 1980).
Certainly van Vonno’s work on this paper was invaluable and set the North Star…
Today, I share Chapters I-V of this paper; I see it as a seed of what became the Loxahatchee Wild and Scenic River and a clear guide to understanding the designation today. You can access a PDF of the report by clicking the link below.
In achieving the “wild and scenic” designation, the Loxahatchee River had a lot of competition as many of our nation’s rivers appear to be much more dramatic. But in the end, for Florida, the Loxahatchee’s stunning and calm sub-tropical beauty was honored first, to stand along side some of the most famous rivers of the United States.