Draft Environmental Impact Statement; Fire Management Plan; Golden Gate National Recreation Area; Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo Counties, California; Notice of Availability, 13538-13540 [05-5448]

Download as PDF 13538 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 53 / Monday, March 21, 2005 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Superintendent, Flight 93 National Memorial, 109 West Main Street, Suite 104, Somerset, PA 15501–2035. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Law 107–226 (116 Stat. 1345, 16 U.S.C. 431 note), dated September 24, 2002, established the Flight 93 National Memorial to commemorate the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 who, on September 11, 2001, courageously gave their lives, thereby thwarting a planned attack on our Nation’s Capital. Public Law 107–226 established the Flight 93 Advisory Commission and directed the Commission to advise the Secretary of the Interior on the boundary of the memorial site. On July 30, 2004, the Commission’s Resolution 0401 advised the Secretary of the Interior to establish the boundary as depicted on Map No. 04–01. By a letter to the Commission, dated January 14, 2005, the Secretary of the Interior accepted the Commission’s advice to establish the boundary as provided in Resolution 0401. The map is on file and available for inspection in the Land Resources Program Center, Northeast Regional Office, U.S. Customs House, 200 Chestnut Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106–2988, in the Office of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240 and in the Office of Flight 93 National Memorial, 109 West Main Street, Somerset, Pennsylvania 15501. Dated: February 7, 2005. Joanne M. Hanley, Superintendent, Flight 93 National Memorial National Park Service. [FR Doc. 05–5449 Filed 3–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–WH–M DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service Draft Environmental Impact Statement; Fire Management Plan; Golden Gate National Recreation Area; Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo Counties, California; Notice of Availability Pursuant to § 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Pub. L. 91–190, 42 U.S.C. 4321– 4347, January 1, 1970, as amended), and the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508), the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement identifying and evaluating three alternatives for a Fire Management Plan for Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), in northern California. SUMMARY: VerDate jul<14>2003 18:36 Mar 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 Potential impacts and mitigating measures are described for each alternative. The alternative selected after this conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process will serve as a blueprint for fire management actions for the GGNRA over the next 10–15 years. This Fire Management Plan (FMP) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) identifies and analyzes two action alternatives, and a No Action alternative, to update and revise the 1993 Fire Management Plan for the GGNRA, Muir Woods National Monument and Fort Point National Historic Site; the latter two sites are administered by GGNRA. The 1993 FMP focuses primarily on natural resource management issues and needs to be revised to more fully address cultural resource concerns. In addition, the revisions will bring the FMP into conformance with current federal wildland fire policies and standards, address lands added to GGNRA since 1993, and plan for fire hazard reduction in the extensive wildland urban interface on the park’s boundary. This FMP DEIS evaluates fire management options for approximately 15,000 acres of GGNRA’s nearly 75,000 legislated acres. The planning area for the FMP contains lands in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties— three of the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay area. Several of the smaller national park sites are within the City of San Francisco itself; remaining areas are in southern and southwestern Marin County, northwestern San Mateo County and the Phleger Estate, in southeastern San Mateo County near the Town of Woodside. The FMP planning area does not included the following lands: (1) The northern lands of GGNRA, comprising 18,000 acres north of the Bolinas-Fairfax Road in western Marin County, which are managed by the Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) under an agreement between the two park units. Fire management responsibilities for these northern lands are addressed in the PRNS FMP (approved October 29, 2004). (2) Lands within the jurisdictional boundary of GGNRA that are not directly managed by the National Park Service. This includes the San Francisco Watershed, managed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (with overlays of NPS easements) and the interior portion of the Presidio of San Francisco (referred to as Area B), which is managed by the Presidio Trust, a federal corporation. The coastal portion of the Presidio (Area A), PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 managed by the GGNRA, is included in the planning area. In addition to lands currently under the management of the NPS, the FMP planning area includes those lands within the legislative boundary that may pass to NPS management in the near future. These areas, all in San Mateo County, include Cattle Hill, Pedro Point, Picardo Ranch, and northern coastal bluffs along Highway 1. GGNRA was created in 1972 to preserve for public use and enjoyment certain areas of Marin and San Francisco Counties, California, possessing outstanding natural, historic, scenic, and recreational values, and in order to provide for the maintenance of needed recreational open space necessary to urban environment and planning. The legislation charged the Secretary of the Interior to ‘‘utilize the resources [of GGNRA] in a manner which will provide for recreation and educational opportunities consistent with sound principles of land use planning and management’’ and to ‘‘preserve the recreation area, as far as possible, in its natural setting, and protect it from development and uses which would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of the area.’’[16 U.S.C. 460bb]. GGNRA protects a remarkably diverse cluster of coastal ecosystems, landscapes, and historical sites, from the rural hills of Tomales Bay and the San Mateo watershed to the scenic headlands and military outposts of the Golden Gate and the urban shorelines of San Francisco. This diversity centers on the singular geographic feature of Golden Gate, portal between the United States and the Pacific Basin, and includes a Civil War fort, an ancient redwood forest, the former Alcatraz federal penitentiary, and most of the last remaining open spaces and forests on the ocean coast of the metropolitan Bay Area. The parklands include beaches, coastal headlands, grasslands, coastal scrub, Douglas fir and coast redwood forests, freshwater and estuarine wetlands, marine terraces, and riparian corridors. GGNRA contains the highest concentration of historic buildings (over 1,250 buildings and five national historic landmark districts) in any single unit of the National Park System. In the past, wildland fire occurred naturally in the park as an important ecosystem process that kept forest fuels and vegetation structure within the natural range of variability. Past logging and fire suppression activities have lead to increased fuel loads and changes in vegetation community structure. This has increased the risk of large, highintensity wildland fire within the park, E:\FR\FM\21MRN1.SGM 21MRN1 13539 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 53 / Monday, March 21, 2005 / Notices threatening the park’s developed zones, its natural and cultural resources, and residential areas close to the park boundary in the wildland urban interface zone. Alternatives. Though the three alternatives vary in the strategies used to achieve fire management goals, there are several common elements of the FMP that are the same under each alternative. The fire management approach for Muir Woods National Monument would be the same, including the use of prescribed fire as well as mechanical fuel reduction. Some actions, including continued implementation of the Wildland Urban Interface Initiative, maintenance of the park’s fire roads and trails, vegetation clearing around park buildings, suppression of unplanned ignitions, public information and education, construction of a new fire cache for equipment storage and continuation of the current fire monitoring program, would be carried out under all three alternatives. The three alternatives meet the park’s goals and objectives to an acceptably large degree, and are within constraints imposed by regulations and policies, by risks associated with the wildland urban interface, and by technical and funding limitations. The three alternatives differ in combinations of prescribed burning and mechanical treatments in the park interior versus parklands that share a boundary with development. Each alternative has an upper limit set on the number of acres that could be treated by either prescribed burning or mechanically treated in one year (see Table 1). Alternative A (No Action)—This alternative would update the 1993 FMP only to reflect changes to the park’s boundary (e.g., addition of new lands since 1993) and current national fire management policies. The focus of the 1993 FMP program is on vegetation management through the application of prescribed fire to perpetuate firedependent natural systems. In recent practice, many fire management actions have been mechanical fuel reduction projects (e.g., mowing, cutting to remove non-native shrubs and trees, and selective thinning in forested stands) funded through the Wildland-Urban Interface Program. This alternative would rely on the continued implementation of the 1993 FMP supplemented by mechanical fuel reduction along with prescribed fire, and suppression of all wildfires. Current research projects would continue and would focus on the role of fire to enhance natural resources and the effects of fire on key natural resources to determine the effectiveness of various fuel treatments. Alternative B—Hazard Reduction and Restricted Fire Use for Research and Resource Enhancement. This alternative would emphasize use of mechanical methods to reduce fire hazards and fuel loads in areas with the highest risks. Compared to Alternative A, Alternative B would increase the number of acres mechanically treated each year, with a focus on the reduction of high fuel loads in the wildland urban interface area. Limited use of prescribed fire could occur for research purposes within the park interior. Research projects would examine the role of fire to enhance natural resources and the effects of fire on key natural resources to determine the effectiveness of various fuel treatments. Natural and cultural resource goals and objectives would be integrated into the design and implementation of fuel reduction projects. Alternative C (Preferred Alternative) (Environmentally Preferred)—Hazard Reduction and Resource Enhancement through Multiple Treatments. This alternative would allow for the greatest number of acres to be treated on an annual basis to achieve fire management and resource objectives through the use of a broad range of fire management strategies. Mechanical treatment and prescribed burning would be used throughout the park as a means to reduce fuel loading and achieve resource enhancement goals. Mechanical treatments, complemented by prescribed fire, would be employed to assist with restoration and maintenance of the park’s natural and cultural resources. An expanded research program would examine the role of fire and mechanical treatments in enhancing natural resources, reducing fuel loading, and specific impacts of fire on key natural resources; research would also be used to adaptively guide the fire management program and help to maximize the benefits to park resources. As in Alternative B, natural and cultural resource goals and objectives would be integrated into the design and implementation of fuel reduction projects. TABLE 1.—SUMMARY OF ALTERNATIVES BY ANNUAL ACRES TREATED AND TREATMENT TYPE [Source: GGNRA Fire Management Office, 2004.] Alternative A1 Treatment type County Alternative B Alternative C Mechanical Treatment 2 (ac/year) ............. Marin ......................................................... San Francisco .......................................... San Mateo ................................................ 75 5 20 180 10 40 225 10 40 Total ................................................... Prescribed Burning (ac/year) .................... ................................................................... Marin ......................................................... San Francisco .......................................... San Mateo ................................................ 100 100 <1 10 230 120 <1 0 275 285 <1 35 Total ................................................... ................................................................... 110 120 120 1 Estimated 2 Includes based upon current practice, since 1993 FMP did not specify number of acres per year for treatments. fuel reduction through methods such as mowing, cutting, short-term grazing, and selective thinning. Planning Background: Public scoping for the FMP EIS began on August 8, 2003, with publication in the Federal Register of the Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the GGNRA Fire VerDate jul<14>2003 18:36 Mar 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 Management Plan. In addition to the Federal Register notice, the scoping period was publicized through a mass mailing to the public and a notice advertising scoping workshops, which were held in each of the three counties PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 in the planning area. Scoping comments were solicited from the public, regulatory agencies, local fire departments and park staff from August 8, 2003, to December 5, 2003. E:\FR\FM\21MRN1.SGM 21MRN1 13540 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 53 / Monday, March 21, 2005 / Notices Comments: The FMP/DEIS will be sent directly to those who request it in writing received by regular mail or email. Copies and compact discs of the document will be available at park headquarters, park visitor centers, and at local and regional libraries. The complete document will be posted on the park’s Web site at http:// www.nps.gov/goga/admin/planning. Written comments must be postmarked (or transmitted by e-mail) no later than sixty days from the date of EPA’s notice of filing published in the Federal Register—as soon as it is confirmed, the close of the commenting period will also be posted on the park’s Web site. All comments should be addressed to the Superintendent and mailed to Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123 (Attn: Fire Management Plan); E-mail should be sent to: goga_fire@nps.gov (please mark the e-mail subject line ‘‘FMP DEIS Comments’’). A public meeting will be held be held to hear comments on the DEIS. Please visit the GGNRA Web site at http://www.nps.gov/goga/ for the date, location, and time, or call the GGNRA Fire Management Office at (415) 331–6374. All comments are maintained in the administrative record and will be available for public review at park headquarters. If individuals submitting comments request that their name and/ or address be withheld from public disclosure, it will be honored to the extent allowable by law. Such requests must be stated prominently in the beginning of the comments. As always, NPS will make available to public inspection all submissions from organizations or businesses and from persons identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations and businesses; and anonymous comments may not be considered. Decision Process: It is anticipated that the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Fire Management Plan would be completed in spring, 2005. The availability of the Final EIS will be published in the Federal Register, and announced via mailings and Web site postings. Not sooner than thirty days after the distribution of the Final EIS/ FMP, a Record of Decision may be approved (as a delegated EIS the approving official is the Regional Director, Pacific West Region of the National Park Service). After approval, the official responsible for implementation of the FMP will be the General Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area. VerDate jul<14>2003 18:36 Mar 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 Dated: February 15, 2005. George J. Turnbull, Acting Regional Director, Pacific West Region. [FR Doc. 05–5448 Filed 3–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312–FN–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service Notice of Availability of a Record of Decision on the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the ArrowheadWeston Transmission Line River Crossing/Right-of-Way Request, Saint Croix National Scenic River National Park Service, Department of the Interior. SUMMARY: Pursuant to § 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Public Law 91–190, 83 Stat. 852, 853, as codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of the record of decision for the ArrowheadWeston Transmission Line River Crossing/Right-Of-Way Request. On February 23, the Director, Midwest Region, approved the record of decision for the crossing/right-of-way (ROW) request. Specifically, the NPS has selected the preferred alternative (alternative 1: Long-span option) as described in the final environmental impact statement (EIS). Under the selected action, the NPS will issue a 120-foot wide ROW permit to Minnesota Power, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, and American Transmission Company (the Applicants) to allow for construction and operation of alternative 1: Long-span option, which is a double-circuited, alternating current, 161 and 345-kilovolt transmission line crossing of the Namekagon River, a segment of the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (Riverway). The selected action and four other alternatives were analyzed in the draft and final EIS. The full range of foreseeable environmental consequences was assessed. Among the alternatives the NPS considered, the selected action best provides a combination of limiting impacts in the crossing area and providing enhancements throughout the Riverway. The NPS believes the preferred alternative allows for a transmission line crossing of the Namekagon River while minimizing and compensating for impacts to the Riverway. The river crossing will have no impact on the free-flowing characteristics of the Namekagon River and is consistent with the park’s general management plan AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 which calls for new crossings to be consolidated in existing crossings. The preferred will allow supporting structures to be set back from line-ofsight of the river, and will require less ground, vegetation, and ongoing maintenance disturbances. The compensatory mitigation package will eliminate up to eight distribution line crossings, provide noise abatement measures on a nearby stretch of the Riverway, and provide funds for studies and activities to enhance scenery and recreation along the Riverway. The record of decision includes a statement of the decision made, synopses of other alternatives considered, the basis for the decision, the rationale for why the selected action is the environmentally preferred alternative, a finding on impairment of park resources and values, and an overview of public involvement in the decisionmaking process. Ms. Jill Medland, Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, 401 Hamilton Street, P.O. Box 708, Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin 54024; phone 715 483–3284, extension 609. Copies of the record of decision may be obtained from the contact listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dated: February 22, 2005. Ernest Quintana, Regional Director, Midwest Region. [FR Doc. 05–5446 Filed 3–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312–96–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions Nominations for the following properties being considered for listing or related actions in the National Register were received by the National Park Service before February 26, 2005. Pursuant to section 60.13 of 36 CFR part 60 written comments concerning the significance of these properties under the National Register criteria for evaluation may be forwarded by United States Postal Service, to the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1849 C St., NW., 2280, Washington, DC 20240; by all other carriers, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service,1201 Eye St., NW., 8th floor, Washington DC 20005; or by fax, 202–371–6447. Written E:\FR\FM\21MRN1.SGM 21MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 53 (Monday, March 21, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13538-13540]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-5448]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service


Draft Environmental Impact Statement; Fire Management Plan; 
Golden Gate National Recreation Area; Marin, San Francisco and San 
Mateo Counties, California; Notice of Availability

SUMMARY: Pursuant to Sec.  102(2)(C) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (Pub. L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, January 1, 
1970, as amended), and the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations 
(40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508), the National Park Service, Department 
of the Interior, has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
identifying and evaluating three alternatives for a Fire Management 
Plan for Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), in northern 
California. Potential impacts and mitigating measures are described for 
each alternative. The alternative selected after this conservation 
planning and environmental impact analysis process will serve as a 
blueprint for fire management actions for the GGNRA over the next 10-15 
years.
    This Fire Management Plan (FMP) and Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement (DEIS) identifies and analyzes two action alternatives, and a 
No Action alternative, to update and revise the 1993 Fire Management 
Plan for the GGNRA, Muir Woods National Monument and Fort Point 
National Historic Site; the latter two sites are administered by GGNRA. 
The 1993 FMP focuses primarily on natural resource management issues 
and needs to be revised to more fully address cultural resource 
concerns. In addition, the revisions will bring the FMP into 
conformance with current federal wildland fire policies and standards, 
address lands added to GGNRA since 1993, and plan for fire hazard 
reduction in the extensive wildland urban interface on the park's 
boundary.
    This FMP DEIS evaluates fire management options for approximately 
15,000 acres of GGNRA's nearly 75,000 legislated acres. The planning 
area for the FMP contains lands in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo 
counties--three of the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay 
area. Several of the smaller national park sites are within the City of 
San Francisco itself; remaining areas are in southern and southwestern 
Marin County, northwestern San Mateo County and the Phleger Estate, in 
southeastern San Mateo County near the Town of Woodside. The FMP 
planning area does not included the following lands:
    (1) The northern lands of GGNRA, comprising 18,000 acres north of 
the Bolinas-Fairfax Road in western Marin County, which are managed by 
the Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) under an agreement between the 
two park units. Fire management responsibilities for these northern 
lands are addressed in the PRNS FMP (approved October 29, 2004).
    (2) Lands within the jurisdictional boundary of GGNRA that are not 
directly managed by the National Park Service. This includes the San 
Francisco Watershed, managed by the San Francisco Public Utilities 
Commission (with overlays of NPS easements) and the interior portion of 
the Presidio of San Francisco (referred to as Area B), which is managed 
by the Presidio Trust, a federal corporation. The coastal portion of 
the Presidio (Area A), managed by the GGNRA, is included in the 
planning area.
    In addition to lands currently under the management of the NPS, the 
FMP planning area includes those lands within the legislative boundary 
that may pass to NPS management in the near future. These areas, all in 
San Mateo County, include Cattle Hill, Pedro Point, Picardo Ranch, and 
northern coastal bluffs along Highway 1.
    GGNRA was created in 1972 to preserve for public use and enjoyment 
certain areas of Marin and San Francisco Counties, California, 
possessing outstanding natural, historic, scenic, and recreational 
values, and in order to provide for the maintenance of needed 
recreational open space necessary to urban environment and planning. 
The legislation charged the Secretary of the Interior to ``utilize the 
resources [of GGNRA] in a manner which will provide for recreation and 
educational opportunities consistent with sound principles of land use 
planning and management'' and to ``preserve the recreation area, as far 
as possible, in its natural setting, and protect it from development 
and uses which would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of 
the area.''[16 U.S.C. 460bb]. GGNRA protects a remarkably diverse 
cluster of coastal ecosystems, landscapes, and historical sites, from 
the rural hills of Tomales Bay and the San Mateo watershed to the 
scenic headlands and military outposts of the Golden Gate and the urban 
shorelines of San Francisco. This diversity centers on the singular 
geographic feature of Golden Gate, portal between the United States and 
the Pacific Basin, and includes a Civil War fort, an ancient redwood 
forest, the former Alcatraz federal penitentiary, and most of the last 
remaining open spaces and forests on the ocean coast of the 
metropolitan Bay Area. The parklands include beaches, coastal 
headlands, grasslands, coastal scrub, Douglas fir and coast redwood 
forests, freshwater and estuarine wetlands, marine terraces, and 
riparian corridors. GGNRA contains the highest concentration of 
historic buildings (over 1,250 buildings and five national historic 
landmark districts) in any single unit of the National Park System.
    In the past, wildland fire occurred naturally in the park as an 
important ecosystem process that kept forest fuels and vegetation 
structure within the natural range of variability. Past logging and 
fire suppression activities have lead to increased fuel loads and 
changes in vegetation community structure. This has increased the risk 
of large, high-intensity wildland fire within the park,

[[Page 13539]]

threatening the park's developed zones, its natural and cultural 
resources, and residential areas close to the park boundary in the 
wildland urban interface zone.
    Alternatives. Though the three alternatives vary in the strategies 
used to achieve fire management goals, there are several common 
elements of the FMP that are the same under each alternative. The fire 
management approach for Muir Woods National Monument would be the same, 
including the use of prescribed fire as well as mechanical fuel 
reduction. Some actions, including continued implementation of the 
Wildland Urban Interface Initiative, maintenance of the park's fire 
roads and trails, vegetation clearing around park buildings, 
suppression of unplanned ignitions, public information and education, 
construction of a new fire cache for equipment storage and continuation 
of the current fire monitoring program, would be carried out under all 
three alternatives. The three alternatives meet the park's goals and 
objectives to an acceptably large degree, and are within constraints 
imposed by regulations and policies, by risks associated with the 
wildland urban interface, and by technical and funding limitations. The 
three alternatives differ in combinations of prescribed burning and 
mechanical treatments in the park interior versus parklands that share 
a boundary with development. Each alternative has an upper limit set on 
the number of acres that could be treated by either prescribed burning 
or mechanically treated in one year (see Table 1).
    Alternative A (No Action)--This alternative would update the 1993 
FMP only to reflect changes to the park's boundary (e.g., addition of 
new lands since 1993) and current national fire management policies. 
The focus of the 1993 FMP program is on vegetation management through 
the application of prescribed fire to perpetuate fire-dependent natural 
systems. In recent practice, many fire management actions have been 
mechanical fuel reduction projects (e.g., mowing, cutting to remove 
non-native shrubs and trees, and selective thinning in forested stands) 
funded through the Wildland-Urban Interface Program. This alternative 
would rely on the continued implementation of the 1993 FMP supplemented 
by mechanical fuel reduction along with prescribed fire, and 
suppression of all wildfires. Current research projects would continue 
and would focus on the role of fire to enhance natural resources and 
the effects of fire on key natural resources to determine the 
effectiveness of various fuel treatments.
    Alternative B--Hazard Reduction and Restricted Fire Use for 
Research and Resource Enhancement. This alternative would emphasize use 
of mechanical methods to reduce fire hazards and fuel loads in areas 
with the highest risks. Compared to Alternative A, Alternative B would 
increase the number of acres mechanically treated each year, with a 
focus on the reduction of high fuel loads in the wildland urban 
interface area. Limited use of prescribed fire could occur for research 
purposes within the park interior. Research projects would examine the 
role of fire to enhance natural resources and the effects of fire on 
key natural resources to determine the effectiveness of various fuel 
treatments. Natural and cultural resource goals and objectives would be 
integrated into the design and implementation of fuel reduction 
projects.
    Alternative C (Preferred Alternative) (Environmentally Preferred)--
Hazard Reduction and Resource Enhancement through Multiple Treatments. 
This alternative would allow for the greatest number of acres to be 
treated on an annual basis to achieve fire management and resource 
objectives through the use of a broad range of fire management 
strategies. Mechanical treatment and prescribed burning would be used 
throughout the park as a means to reduce fuel loading and achieve 
resource enhancement goals. Mechanical treatments, complemented by 
prescribed fire, would be employed to assist with restoration and 
maintenance of the park's natural and cultural resources. An expanded 
research program would examine the role of fire and mechanical 
treatments in enhancing natural resources, reducing fuel loading, and 
specific impacts of fire on key natural resources; research would also 
be used to adaptively guide the fire management program and help to 
maximize the benefits to park resources. As in Alternative B, natural 
and cultural resource goals and objectives would be integrated into the 
design and implementation of fuel reduction projects.

                  Table 1.--Summary of Alternatives by Annual Acres Treated and Treatment Type
                                  [Source: GGNRA Fire Management Office, 2004.]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Treatment type                    County         Alternative A\1\    Alternative B     Alternative C
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mechanical Treatment \2\ (ac/year).  Marin................                75               180               225
                                     San Francisco........                 5                10                10
                                     San Mateo............                20                40                40
                                    ------------------------
 
    Total..........................  .....................               100               230               275
Prescribed Burning (ac/year).......  Marin................               100               120               285
                                     San Francisco........                <1                <1                <1
                                     San Mateo............                10                 0                35
                                    ------------------------
 
    Total..........................  .....................               110               120              120
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Estimated based upon current practice, since 1993 FMP did not specify number of acres per year for
  treatments.
\2\ Includes fuel reduction through methods such as mowing, cutting, short-term grazing, and selective thinning.

    Planning Background: Public scoping for the FMP EIS began on August 
8, 2003, with publication in the Federal Register of the Notice of 
Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the GGNRA Fire 
Management Plan. In addition to the Federal Register notice, the 
scoping period was publicized through a mass mailing to the public and 
a notice advertising scoping workshops, which were held in each of the 
three counties in the planning area. Scoping comments were solicited 
from the public, regulatory agencies, local fire departments and park 
staff from August 8, 2003, to December 5, 2003.

[[Page 13540]]

    Comments: The FMP/DEIS will be sent directly to those who request 
it in writing received by regular mail or e-mail. Copies and compact 
discs of the document will be available at park headquarters, park 
visitor centers, and at local and regional libraries. The complete 
document will be posted on the park's Web site at http://www.nps.gov/
goga/admin/planning. Written comments must be postmarked (or 
transmitted by e-mail) no later than sixty days from the date of EPA's 
notice of filing published in the Federal Register--as soon as it is 
confirmed, the close of the commenting period will also be posted on 
the park's Web site. All comments should be addressed to the 
Superintendent and mailed to Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort 
Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123 (Attn: Fire Management 
Plan); E-mail should be sent to: goga_fire@nps.gov (please mark the e-
mail subject line ``FMP DEIS Comments''). A public meeting will be held 
be held to hear comments on the DEIS. Please visit the GGNRA Web site 
at http://www.nps.gov/goga/ for the date, location, and time, or call 
the GGNRA Fire Management Office at (415) 331-6374.
    All comments are maintained in the administrative record and will 
be available for public review at park headquarters. If individuals 
submitting comments request that their name and/or address be withheld 
from public disclosure, it will be honored to the extent allowable by 
law. Such requests must be stated prominently in the beginning of the 
comments. As always, NPS will make available to public inspection all 
submissions from organizations or businesses and from persons 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
and businesses; and anonymous comments may not be considered.
    Decision Process: It is anticipated that the Final Environmental 
Impact Statement for the Fire Management Plan would be completed in 
spring, 2005. The availability of the Final EIS will be published in 
the Federal Register, and announced via mailings and Web site postings. 
Not sooner than thirty days after the distribution of the Final EIS/
FMP, a Record of Decision may be approved (as a delegated EIS the 
approving official is the Regional Director, Pacific West Region of the 
National Park Service). After approval, the official responsible for 
implementation of the FMP will be the General Superintendent, Golden 
Gate National Recreation Area.

    Dated: February 15, 2005.
George J. Turnbull,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific West Region.
[FR Doc. 05-5448 Filed 3-18-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-FN-P