National Park Service June 21, 2005 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail Comprehensive Management Plan
Document Number: 05-12214
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-06-21
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Pursuant to section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 the National Park Service announces the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail Comprehensive Management Plan. The authority for publishing this notice is contained in 40 CFR 1506.6. The document provides a framework for the management, use, and development of the trail by the National Park Service and its partners over the next 15 to 20 years. Beginning at Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama, the trail follows the route of the March 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march, traveling through Lowndes County along U.S. Highway 80, and ending at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. The document describes four management alternatives for consideration and analyzes the environmental impacts of those alternatives. These alternatives, including the preferred Alternative C, were presented in the draft EIS.
Middle Fork Avalanche Hazard Reduction, Environmental Impact Statement, Glacier National Park, MT
Document Number: 05-12213
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-06-21
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332(C), the National Park Service is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for Middle Fork Avalanche Hazard Reduction for Glacier National Park, Montana. This effort will result in agreed upon methods to reduce the avalanche hazard to trains and personnel that travel through the John Stevens Canyon between mile post 180 and 192 on State Highway 2, adjacent to the boundary of Glacier National Park. The Burlington Northern Santa-Fe Railroad runs along the southern boundary of Glacier National Park on Flathead National Forest lands. These lands are under a Right-of-Way. The avalanche paths that threaten the trains and personnel are within Glacier National Park. Alternatives to be considered include (1) No-Action, (2) Snow Sheds in all Chutes and an Avalanche Monitoring Program (but no triggering or stability testing), (3) Combination of Snow Sheds and Avalanche Monitoring, Stability Testing and Triggering, (4) No New Sheds and Ongoing Avalanche Monitoring Stability Testing and Triggering and (5) Temporary Avalanche Monitoring, Stability Testing and Triggering Until Snow Sheds are Constructed. The No Action alternative will consider the affects of maintaining the existing sheds avalanche monitoring and continued use of the existing avalanche sensor wires. Alternative 2 will consider the effects of constructing five new sheds and adding onto six existing sheds. Avalanche monitoring would be ongoing, but no stability testing or triggering would occur after sheds are constructed. Alternative 3 will consider a combination of snow sheds and monitoring, stability testing and triggering of avalanches when snow conditions indicate. Alternative 4 will consider only using avalanche monitoring, stability testing and triggering. Alternative 5 will consider the temporary use of avalanche stability testing and triggering until snow sheds are constructed. Avalanche monitoring would continue to occur. Major issues include avalanche stability testing and triggering within proposed wilderness in Glacier National Park, impacts to threatened and endangered species known to use the area, winter recreational use in the area, protection of resources from accidental freight spills caused by avalanches, and safety for the public and personnel in the area. Amtrak travels daily through the area. A scoping letter has been prepared. Copies may be obtained from Superintendent, PO Box 128, Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana 59936 or by calling 406-888-7901. Information may also be obtained from http://parkplanning.nps.gov/.
Great Sand Dunes National Park Advisory Council Meeting
Document Number: 05-12212
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-06-21
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve announces a meeting of the Great Sand Dunes National Park Advisory Council, which was established to provide guidance to the Secretary on long-term planning for Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
Notice of Intent To Prepare a General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: 05-12211
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-06-21
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Pursuant to section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the National Park Service (NPS) announces its intent to prepare a General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS) for Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, located in Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties of Virginia. The park consists of 3,000 acres that comprise significant portions of the Cedar Creek Battlefield, a decisive battle in the Civil War, and Belle Grove Plantation, an antebellum manor house listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the enabling legislation for the park, Congress established a Federal Advisory Commission to advise in the preparation of a GMP, and key partner organizations who may continue to own and manage properties within the park. Prepared by planners at the park and in the NPS Northeast Region, with assistance from advisors and consultants, the GMP/EIS will propose a long-term approach to managing Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Citizen Advisory Commission Meeting
Document Number: 05-12210
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-06-21
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
This notice announces two public meetings of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Citizen Advisory Commission. Notice of these meetings is required under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.2).
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park Advisory Commission; Notice of Meeting
Document Number: 05-12209
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-06-21
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
60 Day Notice of Intention To Request Clearance of Collection of Information; Opportunity for Public Comment
Document Number: 05-12208
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-06-21
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
The America the Beautiful Pass Study will provide the National Park Service (NPS), park managers, and interagency partners (Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA-Forest Service) with critical public input regarding pricing and benefits associated with the new America the Beautiful (ATB) Pass. Specifically the study will use surveys of recreationists, visitors to units of the National Park System and other public lands, potential visitors to units of the National Park System and other public lands, and current National Parks Pass or other federal recreation area pass holders to elicit (1) information about how individuals currently use passes, (2) opinions on how the ATB pass should be priced, (3) opinions about the benefits that the pass should provide, and (4) the factors that might influence an individual's decision to purchase an ATB pass. In addition, socio-economic information regarding current and potential visitors and pass holders is needed.
Merced Wild and Scenic River Revised Comprehensive Management Plan and Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement; Yosemite National Park; Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Madera Counties, California; Notice of Availability
Document Number: 05-12207
Type: Notice
Date: 2005-06-21
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Pub. L. 91-190, as amended), the Council of Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR part 1500), and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1271), the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, has prepared the Final Merced Wild and Scenic River Revised Comprehensive Management Plan and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final Revised Merced River Plan/SEIS). It is intended to amend and supplement the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (Merced River Plan/FEIS) released in June 2000. The Final Revised Merced River Plan/SEIS identifies and evaluates four alternatives for guiding management of the Merced Wild and Scenic River within the jurisdiction of the National Park Service in Yosemite and the El Portal Administrative Site. Potential impacts and appropriate mitigation measures are assessed for each alternative. When approved, the plan will serve as a template for all future decisions relating to recreation and land use within the 81-mile Merced River corridor on both the main stem and South Fork. The primary goals of the plan are to ensure the free-flowing condition of the river, along with providing long-term protection and enhancement of what the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act calls the river's ``Outstandingly Remarkable Values'' the unique qualities that make the river worthy of special protection. Purpose and Need for Federal Action: The Merced River Plan is the official document for guiding future management of the main stem and South Fork of the Merced Wild and Scenic River within the jurisdiction of the National Park Service (NPS). In August 2000, the Merced River Plan/FEIS was approved (the Record of Decision was subsequently revised in November 2000). Shortly after the Record of Decision was signed, the plan became the subject of a lengthy litigation process. In April 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit directed the NPS to prepare a ``new or revised'' comprehensive management plan that addresses two deficiencies identified in the Court's October 27, 2003 opinion (Friends of Yosemite Valley v. Norton, 348 F.3d 789, 803 9th Cir. 2003). The Court ruled that: (1) The revised plan must implement a user capacity program that presents specific measurable limits on use, and (2) the revised plan must reassess the river corridor boundary in the El Portal Administrative Site based on the location of Outstandingly Remarkable Values. The programmatic guidance identified herein would revise and supplement the Merced River Plan/FEIS and the park's 1980 General Management Plan. Proposed Plan and Alternatives: In the proposed Revised Merced River Plan, Alternative 2 (agency preferred alternative) would include all of the elements of the No Action Alternative, with the addition of implementing the Visitor Experience Resource Protection (VERP) user capacity component, along with interim limits on some park facilities; the El Portal segment boundary would be redrawn to a quarter-mile on either side of the river. In addition to this proposed plan, the Final Revised Merced River Plan/SEIS identifies and analyzes three other alternatives: Alternative 1No Action; Alternative 3Segment Limits with VERP Program; and Alternative 4Management Zone Limits with VERP Program. Alternative 2 has also been deemed to be the ``environmentally preferable'' alternative. The No Action Alternative represents a baseline from which to compare the three action alternatives. Under Alternative 1, the Merced River Planas detailed in the 2000 Record of Decision (and subsequent revision)would continue to guide management in the river corridor. Application of its management elements (boundaries, classifications, Outstandingly Remarkable Values, management zoning, River Protection Overlay, Section 7 determination process) would continue as presented in the plan. However, a program of standards and indicators under the Visitor Experience Resource Protection (VERP) framework would not be in place and the park would continue managing user capacity under existing programs and policies outlined in the February 2004 User Capacity Program for the Merced Wild and Scenic River Corridor. This program includes continuation of the current wilderness management program and existing Wilderness Trailhead Quota System. Alternative 1 would implement the narrow boundary for the El Portal segment as described in the selected alternative of the Merced River Plan/FEIS (100-year floodplain or River Protection Overlay [whichever is greater] along with adjacent wetlands). Alternative 3 would also include all of the elements from the No Action alternative, in addition to a VERP user capacity component (as described in Alternative 2), along with a maximum daily limit for each river segment and an annual visitation limit of 5.32 million; the El Portal segment would have the maximum quarter-mile boundary. Alternative 4 would contain the elements of No Action in addition to a VERP user capacity component (as described in Alternative 2), along with limits for each river management zone and an annual visitation limit of 3.27 million; the El Portal segment boundary would be drawn according to the location of Outstandingly Remarkable Values. Planning Background: The draft and final Revised Merced River Plan/ SEIS were prepared pursuant to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and National Environmental Policy Act. On July 27, 2004, a Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement was published in the Federal Register. At this time, a 30-day scoping period was initiated. In response to public comment, this scoping period was extended to September 10, 2004. During scoping, a series of public meetings were held. A letter from the Superintendent was sent to over 8,000 interested members of the public on the park's Planning Mailing list, encouraging them to submit ideas, issues, and concerns relating to the scope of this planning effort. In addition, the scoping period and associated public meetings were publicized via regional media, on the park's Web site, through emailed notices on the park's electronic newsletter, and on various state-wide online bulletin boards. Over 100 letters, faxes, and emails were received and considered during the development of the Draft Revised Merced River Plan/SEIS. All written scoping comments, as well as oral testimony from public hearings, can be viewed on the park's Web site (http://www.nps.gov/yose/planning/mrp/ revision). A scoping report is also available. On January 14, 2005, a Notice of Availability for the Draft Merced Wild and Scenic River Revised Comprehensive Management Plan Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement was published in the Federal Register. The public review period continued through March 22, 2005. Approximately 1,500 printed copies and 600 CD-ROM versions of the draft SEIS were mailed to interested individuals and organizations. In February and March 2005, a series of public meetings was held in locations throughout California to discuss the draft document. During the public comment period, eleven public meetings were hosted throughout California between February 22, 2005 and March 7, 2005. Meetings were held at El Portal, San Francisco, Burbank, Oakhurst, Mammoth Lakes, Sacramento, Fresno, Merced, Mariposa, Groveland and in Yosemite Valley. An additional Open House was hosted in Yosemite Valley prior to the end of the public comment period. Each public meeting was set up to allow for (1) informal conversations between park staff (including consultants) and the public, (2) a presentation by park staff on the plan's proposed elements, and (3) a formal public hearing attended by a court reporter. The public was encouraged to submit written comments on the Draft Revised Merced River Plan/SEIS via letter, email or fax. Attendees could also leave written comments on comment forms provided at the meetings. The NPS contacted local, regional, and national media outlets, issued press releases that were faxed and emailed to media outlets and phone calls that were made to newspaper and news reporters to generate interest in the plan. In addition, paid newspaper advertisements were placed in the Mariposa Gazette, the Sierra Star (Oakhurst, CA), the Union Democrat (Sonora, CA), the Merced Sun-Star and the Mammoth Times. Paid public notices were placed in the San Francisco Chronicle, the L.A. Times, the Sacramento Bee, and the Fresno Bee. Numerous stories about the plan and the schedule of public meetings appeared in local and regional newspapers. In addition, several project fact sheets were posted on the park's Web site; fliers were posted on community bulletin boards, post offices, and local businesses in communities where public meetings were hosted; and press release announcements were included in the park's Daily Report throughout the entire comment period. The park specifically initiated dialogue with several interested local parties. These included park employees and their families, Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts at Yosemite (primary concessioner) employees and residents, and park partner staff such as the Yosemite Institute, the Yosemite Association, and The Yosemite Fund. In addition, there was extensive outreach within the local communities of El Portal and Wawona through participation at local Mariposa County Planning Advisory Committee meetings. The park also conducted a ``walking tour'' in El Portal to discuss the process for identifying Outstandingly Remarkable Values within the El Portal segment of the Merced River and the rationale for the various El Portal boundary alternatives. The NPS engaged gateway communities throughout the process through personal communications and meetings between the park staff and gateway community members. As a result of the public review period, the NPS received comments from 114 individuals, 25 organizations, 6 government agencies, 2 tribes and 1 university, including public testimony given by individuals at public meetings. Over 900 individual comments were received. The analysis of these comments generated about 400 concerns statements, which were categorized and considered for incorporation in the planning process. The public comments received and transcripts from the public hearings are available for viewing on the park Web site (http:// www.nps.gov/yose/planning/mrp/revision). The Public Comment Analysis and Response Report is included as Appendix F in the Final SEIS. Distribution of Final Revised Merced River Plan/SEIS: A mail-back postcard was sent to all individuals and organizations on the park's general mailing list asking recipients if they would like to receive a printed copy or CD-ROM version (or both) of the Final Revised Merced River Plan/SEIS. This announcement also indicated that the plan would be available for viewing on the park's Web site (http://www.nps.gov/ yose/planning). Copies of the final plan will also be available at the National Park Service headquarters in Yosemite Valley, the Yosemite Valley Research Library, the National Park Service warehouse building in El Portal, and at a number local and regional libraries (listed in Chapter VI of the Final SEIS). Decision Process: Depending upon the response from other agencies, interested organizations, and the general public, at this time it is anticipated that a Record of Decision would be approved not sooner than at least 30 days have elapsed after publication by the EPA of their filing notice for the Final Revised MRP/SEIS. Notice of the approved decision will be posted in the Federal Register and announced in local and regional media. As a delegated EIS, the official responsible for the decision is the Regional Director, Pacific West Region, National Park Service; subsequently the official responsible for implementing the approved Revised Merced River Plan is the Superintendent, Yosemite National Park.