Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Environmental Impact Statement Concerning the Disposition of the Bureau of Mines, Twin Cities Research Center Main Campus, Hennepin County, MN
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service (NPS) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3, concerning disposition of the former Bureau of Mines, Twin Cities Research Center Main Campus (Center), Hennepin County, near Minneapolis, Minnesota, and within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA), a unit of the National Park System. The EIS will consider a range of alternatives for disposition of the Center and will be part of a planning process that will span three to four years, ending with a record of decision. There has been considerable public interest in the disposition of the Center. Some of the issues identified to date concern preservation and protection of cultural and natural resources, including protection of the groundwater associated with Coldwater Spring, and continued public access to the site. The NPS anticipates starting the public scoping process for the EIS in February 2005. The NPS will prepare a scoping newsletter in the coming months that will identify issues and inform the public of the schedule for the EIS process and dates for upcoming meetings. To receive a copy of the newsletter, telephone or e-mail the NPS at the address listed below. Public scoping will occur through open public meetings and newsletters to State and Federal Agencies; federally recognized Indian Tribes, neighborhood community groups, county commissioners, local organizations, the congressional delegation, local elected officials, and other interested members of the public. All interested persons, organizations, and agencies are encouraged to submit comments and suggestions on issues, concerns and future uses of the Center that should be addressed in the EIS. Public meetings and site visits of the Center will be held throughout the spring and summer of 2005. In addition to attending the upcoming scoping meetings, interested parties may provide comments on this initial phase of developing alternatives for the EIS. Send or e-mail comments to the NPS address listed below.
San Gabriel River Watershed Special Resource Study, Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA; Notice of Scoping
Notice is hereby given in accordance with provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Public Law 91-190) and Council on Environmental Quality's implementing regulations (40 CFR 1502.9(c)) that public scoping has been initiated for the conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process to identify and assess potential impacts of alternative resource protection and other considerations within the San Gabriel River Watershed Special Resource Study area in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Region. The purpose of the scoping process is to elicit public comment regarding issues and concerns, alternatives, and the nature and extent of potential environmental impacts (and as appropriate, mitigation measures) which should be addressed. Background: As authorized by Public Law 108-042, the NPS is conducting a special resource study of the San Gabriel River and its tributaries from the city of Santa Fe Springs to the north, and the San Gabriel Mountains within the territory of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. The study area includes areas of the Angeles National Forest, as well as many urban communities along the San Gabriel River and its tributaries. Although the Angeles National Forest and various local and county parks provide recreational opportunities, many communities within the study area experience a lack of open space and their associated recreational opportunities. In conducting the San Gabriel Watershed Special Resource Study, the NPS will evaluate the national significance of the area's natural and cultural resources. The NPS will also assess the area's suitability and feasibility to be a unit of the National Park System. Factors which the NPS study team will evaluate include: Whether the study area includes types or quality of resources not already adequately represented in the National Park System; whether long-term protection and public use of the area are feasible; and whether the area can be adequately protected and administered at a reasonable cost. The NPS's conclusions may vary for different portions of the study area. The NPS will also consider: Alternative strategies for the management, protection and use of significant resources within the overall study area, including management by other public agencies or the private sector; technical or financial assistance available from established programs or special initiatives and partnerships; alternative designations to a national park unit and; cooperative management by NPS and other entities. The authorizing statute directs the NPS to consider regional flood control and drainage needs and publicly owned infrastructure such as wastewater treatment facilities. Opportunities for increased open space and recreational opportunities will also be considered in the study. Public Involvement: During the study process, a range of alternatives will be developed, in consultation with Federal, State and local governments and the public. The law authorizing this study directs the NPS to consult with the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and with other appropriate Federal, State and local governmental entities. The NPS will conduct an environmental review of the alternatives and the potential impacts of resource protection considerations as part of the San Gabriel River Watershed Special Resource Study. At this time, it has not been determined whether an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared, however, this scoping process will aid in the preparation of either document, and public comments will aid in making this determination. The public will have opportunities to comment and participate throughout the study process, including the opportunity to review the environmental document and submit additional comments. For initial scoping and alternatives development, the most useful comments are those that provide the NPS with assistance in identifying issues and concerns which should be addressed, or providing important information germane to this study. All responses to this Notice will also be used to establish a mailing list of interested persons, organizations, and agencies that desire to receive further information as the environmental document is developed. The public scoping period for the San Gabriel River Watershed Special Resource Study will conclude 90 days after the publication of this Scoping Notice in the Federal Register. As soon as this date can be determined, it will be posted on the study Web site (noted below) and announced by press release to local and regional media. Scoping meetings will be held in the Los Angeles Region in the winter and/or spring of 2005. Interested individuals, organizations, and agencies wishing to provide written comments on issues or concerns should respond to: National Park Service, San Gabriel River Watershed Special Resource Study, 1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700, Oakland, CA 94607. Comments may also be submitted electronically through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system (which can be accessed through the study's Web site listed below). In addition, the study team may be contacted anytime via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. There also may be circumstances wherein the NPS will withhold a respondent's identity as allowable by law. 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. Future Information: Further information about the study process and opportunities for the public to participate will be distributed via direct mailings, regional and local news media, and announcements on the San Gabriel Watershed Special Resource Study Web site (http:// www.nps.gov/pwro/sangabriel). Decision Process: Availability of the forthcoming draft environmental document for review and written comment will be announced by local and regional news media, the above listed Web site, and direct mailing. At this time the draft document is anticipated to be available for public review and comment by late 2006 or early 2007. Comments on the draft document will be fully considered in the decision making process and responded to as appropriate in the final document. The official responsible for the initial recommendation will be the Regional Director, Pacific West Region, National Park Service. The official responsible for amending or ratifying the recommendation and transmitting the final document to the Secretary of the Interior will be the Director of the National Park Service. The final document will identify the alternative that, in the professional judgment of the Director of the National Park Service, is the most effective and efficient method for protecting significant resources and providing for public enjoyment. The Secretary of the Interior subsequently will forward the completed study along with a recommendation regarding the Secretary's preferred management option for the area to Congress for their consideration. It is anticipated that the final study report will be available in winter 2008.
National Park Service
The National Park Service (NPS) announces the SRC meeting schedule for the following NPS areas within the Alaska Region: Aniakchak National Monument, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Denali National Park, Kobuk Valley National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. The purpose of each meeting is to continue work authorized and proposed in subsistence hunting program recommendations and other related subsistence management issues. Each meeting is open to the public. Each SRC meeting will have time allocated for hearing public comments. The public is welcomed to present written or oral comments to the SRC. Draft meeting minutes will be available for public inspection approximately six weeks after each meeting. The NPS SRC program is authorized under Title VIII, Section 808, of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, Public Law 96-487, to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
Final Commercial Services Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, Glacier National Park, Montana
Pursuant to Sec. 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Stat. 852, 853, codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service announces the availability of the Record of Decision for the Final Commercial Services Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, Glacier National Park, Montana. On August 20, 2004, the Director, Intermountain Region approved the Record of Decision for the project. As soon as practicable the National Park Service will begin to implement the Preferred Alternatives contained in the FEIS issued on July 9, 2004. The following actions were summarized from the Record of Decision and will occur under the preferred alternatives. The Final Commercial Services Plan identified a vision for commercial services in the park, identified those services that are ``necessary and appropriate'' according to criteria developed in accordance with Title IV of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998. Standards and prescriptions were developed to further describe how each service will be provided. The Plan also refined the visitor services zone as conceptually described in Glacier National Park's General Management Plan1999. Overall, the Plan maintains what currently exists in the park, however the operation dates for each of the developed areas have been increased slightly and the number of overnight rooms in the park can be increased from 512 to 540. The necessary and appropriate services that were addressed specifically include Granite Park Chalet, Commercially Guided Day Hiking, Guided Underwater Diving tours, Firewood Sales, Public Showers, Interpretive Boat tours and Boat Taxi or Boat Transportation Services, Motor Vehicle tours, Taxi Service, Shuttling of Private Vehicles, Public Transportation Service, Horseback Riding and Packing Services, Step-On Guide Service and Commercially Guided Bicycle Tours. Each developed area was also addressed that contained commercial services. These were Apgar Village, Lake McDonald, Two Medicine, Rising Sun, Many Glacier, and Swiftcurrent developed areas. A number of other actions will be implemented such as improved interpretation and orientation at each developed area, upgraded facilities to comply with life safety, accessibility and building codes, and boat rentals will be provided by the boat tour concessioner at existing locations. A more complete list is in the Record of Decision and the Final Commercial Services Plan. A number of mitigation measures will be adhered to during construction and or operation of the commercial services. These measures are in addition to any other federal, state or local permits and requirements and specific protection guidelines to preserve park resources. They are listed in detail in the Final Commercial Services Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement. These actions and alternatives were analyzed in the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements. The full range of foreseeable environmental consequences were assessed, and appropriate mitigation measures were identified. The Record of Decision includes a statement of the decision made, synopses of other alternatives considered, the basis for the decision, a description of the environmentally preferable alternative, a finding on impairment of park resources and values, a listing of measures to minimize environmental harm, an overview of public involvement in the decision-making process, and a Statement of Findings.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Non-Native Deer Management Plan Point Reyes National Seashore; Marin County, CA; Notice of Availability
Pursuant to section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Pub. L. 91-190, as amended), and the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR part 1500-1508), the National Park Service (NPS), Department of the Interior, has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement identifying and evaluating five alternatives for a Non-Native Deer Management Plan for Point Reyes National Seashore administered lands. Potential impacts, and appropriate mitigations, are assessed for each alternative. When approved, the plan will guide, for the next 15 years, non-native deer management actions on lands administered by Point Reyes National Seashore. The Non-Native Deer Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement documents the analyses of four action alternatives, and a ``no action'' alternative. Five other preliminary alternatives were considered but rejected because they did not achieve the objectives of the non-native deer management plan or were infeasible. Planning Background: Axis deer (Axis axis) are native to India and fallow deer (Dama dama) are native to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region. Axis and fallow deer were introduced to the Point Reyes area in the 1940s and 1950s, before establishment of the Seashore. Between 1976 and 1994, NPS rangers removed more than 2,000 non-native deer. In 1994, cullling was discontinued. Since then, non-native deer have not been actively managed and numbers and range have increased to, or surpassed, pre-control levels. Seashore staff estimates current numbers of axis and fallow deer to be approximately 250 and 860, respectively. The purpose of the Non-Native Deer Management Plan (NNDMP) is to define management prescriptions for non-native deer. Both the park's General Management Plan (GMP) and Resource Management Plan (RMP), identify goals for management of these exotic species. The park's 1999 RMP indicates ``Regardless of potential competition and disease issues, the presence of these non-native deer compromises the ecological integrity of the Seashore and the attempts to reestablish the native cervid fauna comprising tule elk and black-tailed deer'' and notes that three scientific panels comprised of federal, state, and university researchers and managers recommended the removal of non-native deer to promote restoration of native deer and elk. The objectives of the plan are: To correct past and ongoing disturbances to Seashore ecosystems from introduced non-native ungulates and thereby to contribute substantially to the restoration of naturally functioning native ecosystems. To minimize long-term impacts, in terms of reduced staff time and resources, to resource protection programs at the Seashore, incurred by continued monitoring and management of non-native ungulates. To prevent spread of populations of both species of non- native deer beyond Seashore and GGNRA boundaries. To reduce impacts of non-native ungulates through direct consumption of forage, transmission of disease to livestock and damage to fencing to agricultural permittees within pastoral areas. The primary problems associated with the presence of these nonnative deer are their interference with native species and native ecosystems; conflicts with the laws, regulations and NPS policies regarding restoration of natural conditions and native species; and the impacts on ranchers in the park, on park operations, budget. In addition there is the potential for each of these impacts to increase as deer populations expand beyond park boundaries. The objectives of the planning effort are to solve these problems. The planning area for the NNDMP includes NPS lands located approximately 40 miles northwest of San Francisco in Marin County, California. These lands include the 70,046-acre Point Reyes National Seashore, comprised primarily of beaches, coastal headlands, extensive freshwater and estuarine wetlands, marine terraces, and forests; as well as 18,000 acres of the Northern District of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), primarily supporting annual grasslands, coastal scrub, and Douglas-fir and coast redwood forests. Thirty-five percent, or 32,000 acres, of Seashore lands are managed as wilderness. Proposed Non-Native Deer Management Plan: Alternative E is the agency-preferred alternative in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Under this alternative (Removal of All Non-Native Deer by a Combination of Agency Removal and Fertility control -Sterilants or Yearly Contraception), all axis and fallow deer inhabiting the Seashore and the GGNRA lands administered by the Seashore would be eradicated by approximately 2020 through lethal removal and fertility control. Culling would be conducted by NPS staff specifically trained in wildlife sharpshooting. The contraceptive program would incorporate the latest contraceptive technologies to safely prevent reproduction, for as long as possible, and with minimal treatments per animal. Because no long-acting ``sterilant'' has been approved for use in wildlife by the Food and Drug Administration, studies on safe and efficacious use of a candidate drug would have to be conducted at PRNS before it could be used for management and population control. Population models of Seashore fallow deer indicate that under this alternative, if the contraceptives used were effective in blocking fertility for at least 4 years, eradication could be accomplished with fewer fallow deer lethally removed. Because the effectiveness of long-term contraceptives on axis deer is unknown, similar models have not been developed for this species. Studies on sterilant efficacy and deer population response to treatment will be used adaptively to guide the non-native deer management program. The goal will be to maximize benefits to natural resources and minimize safety risks to NPS staff, while striving to reduce numbers of animals killed. Alternatives To Proposed Plan: The NNMP / Draft EIS analyzes four alternatives besides the preferred alternative. Alternatives E and D (Removal of All Non-Native Deer by Agency Removal) are both identified in the Draft EIS as the ``environmentally preferred'' alternatives and are considered equally likely to best protect the biological and physical environment of the project area. Both would result in eradication of non-native deer within 15 years and consequently would result in complete removal of all adverse impacts caused by non-native deer to wildlife, vegetation, soils, special status species and water resources. Alternative ANo Action. This alternative represents the current non-native deer management program. It would perpetuate the non-native deer management practices undertaken since 1994, when ranger culling was discontinued. No actions to control the size of non-native deer populations would be taken. In order to ensure protection of native species and ecosystems, continued monitoring for at least 15 years would be an integral part of this alternative as well as all other alternatives considered. Alternative BControl of Non-Native Deer at Pre-Determined Levels by Agency Removal. Alternative B would focus on the use of lethal control to reduce the size of non-native deer populations. Culling would be conducted by NPS staff specifically trained in wildlife sharpshooting. Non-native deer populations would be maintained at a level of 350 for each species (700 total axis and fallow deer). Because fallow deer concentrations are currently higher than this, and axis deer populations are lower than this target, the focus of initial reductions would be on fallow deer. This target population level was chosen because of its history, and for management reasons. However, the number would be re-evaluated by resource managers regularly and could be changed based on results of ongoing monitoring programs. Efforts would be made to reach target (reduced) levels in 15 years and to ensure continued presence of both species in the Seashore. Because fallow deer currently exceed 350 animals, and axis deer have historically done so, any chosen population control method would need to be used in perpetuity to maintain each species at this population size. Because the management time frame is very long (theoretically lasting forever), the total numbers of deer lethally removed could be very high. Alternative CControl of Non-Native Deer at Pre-Determined Levels by Agency Removal and Fertility Control. As in Alternative B, non- native deer populations would be maintained at a level of 350 for each species (700 total axis and fallow deer), but through a combination of lethal removals and fertility control. This target population level was chosen because of its history, and for management reasons. However, the number would be re-evaluated by resource managers regularly and could be changed based on results of ongoing monitoring programs. Culling would be conducted by NPS staff specifically trained in wildlife sharpshooting. The contraceptive program would incorporate the latest contraceptive technologies to safely prevent reproduction, for as long as possible, and with minimal treatments per animal. Because no long- acting ``sterilant'' has been approved for use in wildlife by the Food and Drug Administration, studies on safe and efficacious use of a candidate drug would have to be conducted at PRNS before it could be used for management and population control. Population models of Seashore fallow deer indicate that under Alternative C, if the contraceptive used were effective in blocking fertility in does for at least 4 years, population control could be accomplished with fewer fallow deer lethally removed. Because the effectiveness of long-term contraceptives on axis deer is unknown, similar models have not been developed for this species. Studies on sterilant efficacy and deer population response to treatment would be used adaptively to guide the non-native deer management program in maximizing benefits to natural resources and in minimizing safety risks to NPS staff, while striving to reduce numbers of animals killed. Because fallow deer numbers are currently higher than 350, and axis deer populations are lower than this target, the focus of initial reductions would be on fallow deer. Efforts would be made to reach target (reduced) levels in 15 years. Because the goal of this alternative will be to control axis and fallow deer at a specified level and not to eradicate them from PRNS, annual culling and fertility control would continue indefinitely. Because the management time frame is very long (theoretically lasting forever), the total numbers of deer removed and treated with contraceptives could also be very high under this alternative. Alternative DRemoval of All Non-Native Deer by Agency Personnel. In Alternative D, all axis and fallow deer inhabiting the Seashore and the GGNRA lands administered by the Seashore would be eradicated through lethal removal (shooting) by 2020. Culling would be conducted by NPS staff specifically trained in wildlife sharpshooting. The management actions included in this alternative would continue until both species were extirpated, with a goal of full removal in no more than 15 years. This time frame minimizes the total number of deer removed (a longer period of removal would mean more fawns are born and more total deer are killed) and is reasonable from a cost and logistics standpoint. Because of their current large numbers (250 axis deer and 860 fallow deer), it is expected that total removal of both species would require a minimum of 13 years. Monitoring during program implementation would be done to assess program success and to guide adjustments in the location, intensity and logistics of removal. Actions Common to All AlternativesIn order to ensure protection of native species and ecosystems and to assess success of any management program, continued monitoring for at least 15 years would be an integral part of any Alternative Chosen. All actions which involve direct management of individual animals, ranging from aerial surveillance to live capture and lethal removal, would be conducted in a manner which minimizes stress, pain and suffering to every extent possible. All actions occurring in designated Wilderness, from monitoring to active deer management, would be consistent with the ``minimum requirement'' concept. Scoping Summary: On April 10, 2002, a ``Notice of Scoping for Non- Native Deer Management Plan at Point Reyes National Seashore'' was published in the Federal Register (v67, n69, pp 17446-17447). Through public scoping and internal analysis by the Seashore's interdisciplinary NNDMP/EIS team, it was determined that an Environmental Impact Statement, rather than an Environmental Assessment, should be prepared. As mandated by NEPA, an EIS was chosen because data was deemed insufficient to decide whether the project had potential to be controversial because of disagreement over possible environmental effects. In addition to consulting NPS resource specialists, within and outside the Seashore, park managers consulted federal, state and local agencies about management issues of concern. The beginning of public scoping was announced on May 4, 2002, at a public meeting of the Point Reyes National Seashore Citizens Advisory Commission with a presentation on the NNDMP planning process. In this meeting, input on non-native deer management issues of concern and range of alternatives was solicited from the public. The public meeting featured a short presentation by the Seashore wildlife biologist on the environmental planning process, background on non-native deer, and issues of importance to park management. Background informational handouts were provided. Members of the Citizen's Advisory Committee for Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gates National Recreation Area were given the opportunity to ask questions of park staff. Five individuals spoke at the public meeting. A sign-up sheet at the public meeting provided an opportunity for members of the public to be included on a mailing list for upcoming information on the management plan in development. Public comments were accepted in letter or email form from May 4, 2002 until July 5, 2002. All those who sent written comments during the scoping period and included a return mailing address were also put on the mailing list. An acknowledgment of the Seashore's receipt of written comments, in postcard form, was also sent to those who wrote letters. A similar e-mail message was sent back to those who emailed comments. A total of 32 written comments were received by the close of the public comment period. The major themes communicated by the public during the May 4, 2002 meeting and the subsequent scoping period encompassed a range, from a desire to retain non-native deer in the park or to use non-lethal deer control techniques, to concern about impacts to natural resources from non-native deer and a desire to eliminate all non-native deer from the Seashore. Commenting on the Draft EIS: The purpose of the management plan is to define management prescriptions for non-native deer. A public workshop on the proposed NNDMP will be held during late winter 2005 at the Point Reyes National Seashore Red Barn meeting (confirmed date and other workshop details will be advertised by direct mailing to 210 individuals and organizations) and a notice placed in the local newspapers. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies will be encouraged to provide comments, suggestions, and relevant information (earlier scoping comments need not be resubmitted); written comments must be postmarked not later than 60 days following publication in the Federal Register by EPA of their notice of filing of the availability of the Draft EIS (as soon as this date can be confirmed it will be announced on the park's website, and included in the workshop mailing). Questions at this time regarding the NNDMP planning process or work shop should be addressed to the Superintendent either by mail (see address below) or by telephone at (415) 663-8522. Please note that names and addresses of people who comment become part of the public record. If individuals commenting 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. There also may be circumstances wherein the NPS withholds from the record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. As always: the 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.
Proposed Exchange of Federal Lands for Privately Owned Lands at Olympic National Park
The federally-owned land described below, which was acquired by the National Park Service, has been determined to be suitable for disposal by exchange. The authority for this exchange is the Act of July 15, 1968 (16 U.S.C. 460 l-22(b)) and the Act of June 29, 1938 (16 U.S.C. 251), as amended. The selected Federal land is within the boundary of Olympic National Park (ONP), along the North Shore Road of the Quinault area. This land has been surveyed to evaluate potential consequences of a land exchange. Those surveys have determined that there will not be any effect on threatened, endangered, or rare species; and there will not be any effect on historical, cultural, or archeological resources. These reports are available upon request. Fee ownership of the federally-owned property to be exchanged: ONP Tract No. 44-140 is a 0.44 +/-acre parcel of land acquired by the United States of America by deed recorded 12/21/1999, Grays Harbor County Auditor No. 1999-12210050. Conveyance of the land by the United States of America will be by Quitclaim Deed and include certain land use restrictions to prohibit inappropriate use and development. In exchange for the lands identified in Paragraph I, the United States of America will acquire a 0.26 +/-acre parcel of land, currently owned by Mr. Thomas LaForest, lying within the boundary of ONP (ONP Tract No. 36-122), also along the North Shore Road of the Quinault area. The private lands are being acquired in fee simple with no reservations, subject only to rights of way and easements of record. Acquisition of the private land will eliminate the risk of inappropriate development along the main roadway through this portion of the park. The acquisition will also provide consistent management with the adjacent park administered lands that currently surround the private land. The exchange will allow for private garage use at a more suitable location that already has this existing structure. This action will ensure minimal adverse impacts to visitor services, natural resources, and the scenic values in ONP. The value of the proposed properties to be exchanged shall be determined by current fair market value appraisals. Those values shall be equalized by payment of cash, as circumstances require. There is no anticipated increase in maintenance or operational costs as a result of the exchange.