30-Day Notice of Submission to OMB of Request for Extension of Information Collection Number 1024-0026; Opportunity for Public Comment
Under the Provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. 3507) and 5 CFR part 1320 Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, the National Park Service (NPS) is submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for extension of three (3) information collection forms and relevant NPS regulations currently approved under OMB control number 1024-0026 that are associated with permits pertaining to special public uses of NPS- managed lands.
30-Day Federal Register Notice of Submission of Network to Freedom Application Package to Office of Management and Budget; Opportunity for Public Comment
Under the provisions of the paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. 3507) and 5 CFR part 1320, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, the National Park Service (NPS) invites comments on a submitted request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve an extension of a currently approved information collection clearance (OMB 1024-0232).
Burr Trail Modifications, Final Environmental Impact Statement, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Pursuant to Sec. 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 83 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 Burr Trail Modifications, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. On October 23, 2006 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 Alternative contained in the FEIS issued on July 14, 2006. The following course of action will occur under the preferred alternative. In areas with high bentonite clay content, a gravel surface course will be constructed to increase safety. Geotextile fabric may be used between the aggregate and subbase to prevent gravel loss into the subgrade. Without altering the overhanging rock, a narrow section of the road at mile point 0.65 will be widened by 6 feet to 10 feet. This will be accomplished by moving the northern roadside ditch toward the overhanging rock. A rock embankment will be added to the southern side of the road (the north bank of Sandy Creek) to provide structural stability for a portion of the road as well as slope protection. The road bank in the vicinity of mile points 0.75 and 0.85 will be stabilized using slope protection to reduce erosion and maintain the natural contours of the existing stream channel. Up to 530 linear feet of slope protection will be placed along the base and 6 feet or more up the sides of the road embankment. The base width of the protection will remain aligned with the slope to minimize placement of rock within the existing stream channel. Two paved fords, impassable whenever water flows across the roadway, will be constructed at mile points 0.10 and 0.20. Two vented paved fords will be constructed at mile points 0.50 and 0.60. These crossings will be passable during 2-year storm events; floodwaters will be conveyed through two 24-inch-diameter corrugated metal pipe culverts. The paved fords (vented and unvented) will be relatively consistent with the existing topography, and their length will be sufficient to contain overtopping 10-year storm event floodwaters within the paved area. Each of the fords will include slope protection to protect the upstream and downstream banks and inlet and outlet protection to reduce and minimize erosion and scour. Paved fords, similar to those that will be constructed at mile points 0.10 and 0.20, will be constructed at each of the two minor drainage channels. The upstream channel (i.e., inlet) will be recontoured to direct surface flow over the paved ford, and inlet and outlet protection will be installed to minimize erosion and scour. Slope protection will be added to portions of the downstream road embankment to minimize erosion. A vented paved ford will be constructed to facilitate crossing Halls Creek. This ford will include four 36-inch-diameter corrugated metal pipe culverts. The roadway at the crossing will be shifted a short distance downstream (i.e., to the south) from the Halls Creek/ Burr Canyon drainage confluence so that the culverts in the paved ford can accommodate flows from the two drainages. Inlet and outlet protection will be added to minimize scouring and erosion. Slope protection will also be placed on the stream banks both upstream and downstream of the crossing if necessary to reduce the potential for erosion of the stream banks. An existing culvert near the base of the switchbacks in Burr Canyon will be replaced by three 36-inch-diameter corrugated metal pipe culverts. Inlet protection will be installed while the outlet will use the existing rock channel as erosion protection. An approximately 50-foot length of road just east of the existing culvert will be widened 6 to 10 feet by adding a rock embankment and backfilling to widen the road on the south slope of the Burr Canyon drainage. A cattle guard will be placed at the park boundary by the National Park Service to prevent cattle from entering the park from adjacent Bureau of Land Management-administered lands, and the existing cattle guard at mile point 0.55 will be removed when the current grazing allotment expires. This course of action and three alternatives were analyzed in the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements. The full range of foreseeable environmental consequences was assessed, and appropriate mitigating 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, and an overview of public involvement in the decision-making process.
National Park System Units in Alaska
The National Park Service (NPS or Service) is proposing to revise the special regulations for the NPS-administered areas in Alaska to update provisions governing subsistence use of timber, seaweed collection, river management, ORV use, fishing and camping. The revision would also update definitions, prohibit using motorized vehicles to herd wildlife, and establish wildlife viewing distances in several park areas.
Flight 93 National Memorial Advisory Commission
This notice sets forth the date of the January 29, 2007 meeting of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission.
Ecological Restoration Plan, Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Bandelier National Monument, NM
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service announces the availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Ecological Restoration Plan for Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico.
Dry Tortugas National Park-Special Regulations
This rule will delete obsolete regulations; limit the area, extent and methods of recreational fishing within portions of the park's boundaries; implement a Research Natural Area (RNA); clarify the Superintendent's authority to regulate fishing, boating, and permitted activities; regulate vessel operation, anchoring and human activity; provide enhanced protection for shipwrecks consistent with State and Federal law; and restrict discharges into park waters. Definitions have also been added to clarify terminology.
Land Exchange at Richmond National Battlefield Park
This notice announces a proposed exchange of a 0.32-acre parcel of Federal land in Chesterfield County, Virginia for a 236-acre parcel of privately owned land in Hanover County, Virginia. Both properties are inside the boundaries of Richmond National Battlefield Park (the Park). Acquisition of this 236-acre property will allow the Park to protect the resources and more fully interpret the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek for visitors in perpetuity. An Environmental Survey Assessment of the proposed exchange and a Cultural Resource Survey have been made of the lands involved in this proposed exchange. The parcels have been surveyed for endangered and threatened species. Copies of the surveys are available upon request. I. The following described 0.32-acre parcel of Federal land, located in the Drewry's Bluff Unit of the Park, has been determined to be suitable for disposal by exchange. Federal Tract 03-110 is located near Fort Darling Road in Chesterfield County. It is a 0.32-acre portion of a 23-acre tract acquired in 1936 by the United States, National Park Service by Deed Book 1179 at Page 843 recorded at the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of Chesterfield County, Virginia. The parcel is a 30-foot wide strip of land which is currently occupied by underground pipes that are a portion of a five mile long acid and water pipeline owned by E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company (DuPont). The pipeline was installed in 1980 under a special use permit which has expired, and the National Park Service has no authority to renew it. This strip of land is approximately 100 feet from the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 and is crossed by the entrance road to the Drewry's Bluff Unit of the Park. The United States will convey fee simple title to Tract 03-110, together with a right-of-way for access from Fort Darling Road, by a quitclaim deed to DuPont. The deed will include permanent restrictions that prohibit construction of any above ground improvements and will require DuPont to restore the surface of the ground to its previous condition, in the event the ground is disturbed for any reason. The United States will retain a permanent right-of-way across the parcel for public access to the Drewry's Bluff Unit. II. In exchange for the land described in paragraph I above, the United States will acquire fee title to Tract 01-114, a 236-acre unimproved parcel of land owned by The Conservation Fund (TCF) located on Old Cold Harbor Road in Hanover County, in the Beaver Dam Creek Unit of the Park. Both surface and mineral estates of the 236-acre parcel are to be exchanged. All right, title and interest in the Chesterfield County parcel is to be conveyed by the United States in exchange for the conveyance of all right, title and interest in the Hanover County parcel by TCF. The land conveyed to the United States will be administered by the National Park Service as part of the Richmond National Battlefield Park upon completion of the exchange. This exchange will ensure the protection of 236 acres of the Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield and provide DuPont with ownership of a small strip of land that is occupied by a portion of its underground pipeline. The values of the properties to be exchanged were established by appraisals of fair market value. Since the appraised value of the 236- acre parcel exceeds the appraised value of the 0.32-acre parcel, TCF will donate the difference in value to the United States. For a period of 45 days from the date of this notice, interested parties may submit written comments to the Park Superintendent at the address listed below. Adverse comments will be evaluated and this action may be modified or vacated accordingly. In the absence of any action to modify or vacate, this realty action will become the final determination of the Department of Interior.
Notice of Availability-America the Beautiful-The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, Public Law 108-447, Div. J, Title VII
Section 5 paragraph 3 of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) of December 2004 (16 U.S.C. 6804(a)(3)) requires that the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture publish a notice in the Federal Register when the ``America the Beautifulthe National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass'' is first established and available for purchase. The new pass program was created in response to requirements of the REA. The new pass replaces the Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and the Golden Access Passports, as well as the National Parks Pass, which currently support recreation opportunities on public lands managed by the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Sales of the new pass are scheduled to begin in January 2007. The new pass will be sold at Federal recreation sites that charge entrance and standard amenity fees. The pass will also be available through links on government Web sites including creation.gov and through select third-party vendors.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for Redwood Creek and Wetland Restoration at Big Lagoon-Muir Beach Area Golden Gate National Recreation Area Marin County, CA; Notice of Availability
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/ Draft Environmental Report (Draft EIS/EIR) for the Wetland and Creek Restoration at Big Lagoon. This Draft EIS/EIR evaluates alternatives for ecological restoration and public access upgrades in the Big Lagoon area at Muir Beach, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). The National Park Service (NPS) and County of Marin (County) have jointly prepared the Draft EIS/EIR in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Draft EIS/EIR analyzes multiple alternatives for ecological restoration, public access improvements, bridge replacement, and fill disposal locations. The alternatives are based upon park values, effective restoration strategies and public access approaches, NPS and County policy, and applicable law. Background: Redwood Creek is a coastal stream located in Marin County, California. The project's area of potential effect encompasses the lower reach of Redwood Creek extending from where the creek passes underneath Highway 1, to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean approximately 2,800 feet downstream. Within this reach, the creek and its floodplain have been extensively modified by realignment of the creek; construction of Pacific Way and the Pacific Way bridge, a levee road that borders the creek, and the NPS parking lot and picnic area; and placement of gabions and other artificial fill in the creek channel and on its floodplain. Combined, these modifications to the creek and its floodplain have altered channel hydraulics and reduced its sediment transport capacity, resulting in extreme sediment deposition in the creek channel and reduction in channel capacity. Under current conditions, the creek floods during even moderate rain events, inundating Pacific Way, stranding residents, and hindering access to the public beach. In the winter, residents along Pacific Way often cannot access Highway 1, the sole connecting road, because floodwaters commonly prevent passage by vehicles and pedestrians. This lack of access severely limits emergency services. In addition to the flooding, current conditions in lower Redwood Creek present a risk of channel avulsion, in which the creek could abandon its existing channel and establish a new channel in the floodplain. Avulsion of the channel to the adjacent meadow, which is several feet lower in elevation than the channel bed, could impair passage of adult and juvenile coho salmon and steelhead through the lower creek and could have undetermined consequences to infrastructure. GGNRA has determined that restoration activities at the project site are necessary to address these issues, GGNRA and the County have been involved in an active planning process to identify alternative restoration and public access alternatives to address these identified issues. Proposal and Alternatives: As noted, this Draft EIS/EIR describes and analyzes four alternatives. Alternative 1, the ``baseline'' No Action Alternative, would maintain the existing management direction. Alternatives 2, 3, and 4 (action alternatives) contain varying mixes of three main components: (1) Ecological restoration; (2) public access upgrades, including a reconfiguration of the existing parking lot; and (3) replacement of the Pacific Way Bridge. Each of the action alternatives incorporates the following elements: Interim flood reduction measures; Relocation of the Redwood Creek channel; Construction of new drainage swale and upper pasture modification; Backbeach lagoon enhancement, channel realignment, and dune restoration; Removal of levee road; Invasive species removal; Removal of tavern remnants; Removal of utility lines; Removal of concrete channels and revetment; Modification to Green Gulch field 7. The main differences between the action alternatives is the approach by which ecological restoration would occur. Alternative 3 would combine riparian restoration components with restoration of open water and wetland habitants. Two open-water lagoons would be created, one on either side of the new channel. The two small lagoons would be backwaters, connected to the creek near the downstream end of each lagoon. The banks of the lagoons would have varied slopes to favor a variety of habitats. The lagoons would maintain a minimum water depth of 3-4 feet year-round. Alternative 4 would create a periodically brackish open-water habitat similar to historic (1853) conditions, modified to reflect existing constraints of Pacific Way and private property. This would involve creating a large lagoon with fringing wetlands extending to the edge of the valley immediately landward of Muir Beach. The lagoon would be excavated with gentle side slopes to encourage colonization of emergent wetland vegetation. Like the small lagoons under Alternative 3, the large lagoon would maintain a minimum water depth of 3-4 feet year-round. Alternative 2 (Creek Restoration) (agency-preferred alternative) would involve relocating approximately 2,000 linear feet of Redwood Creek to the topographically lowest portion of the valley, while maintaining a habitat mix similar to current conditions. In addition to relocating Redwood Creek, this alternative includes the following two core elements: ParkingA parking lot with capacity for 175 cars located parallel to Pacific Way. The lot would include a new turn-off from Pacific Way and would include 310 linear feet of stacking room for cars between the entrance and the first parking stall. Other parking lot options considered in the Draft EIS/EIR include: maintaining the current capacity of 175 Cars at Beach; Alternative B1 (50 Cars at Beach); Alternative B2 (145 Cars at Beach); Alternative B3 (175 Cars at Beachsimilar shape as existing lot); Alternative B5 (200 Cars at Beach); and Alternative C (118 Cars at Alder Grove plus 14 Handicapped Spaces and Drop-Off at Beach). Bridge Replacement150-foot-long bridge with raised road. This bridge would span the new 35-foot-wide channel and areas of riparian habitat and flood plain on either side of the channel. Two-foot-wide piers, placed at approximately 40-foot intervals, would be used to support the span. Other bridge alternatives considered in the Draft EIS/EIR include: Alternative BR1 (50-foot-long bridge with a raised road); Alternative BR2 (50-foot-long bridge with a low road); Alternative BR3 (150-foot-long bridge with raised road); and Alternative BR4 (266- to 300-foot-long bridge with highest road). Scoping and Public Involvement: Between December 2002 and December 2004, 17 public meetings were held, as well as a variety of site visits and meetings with representatives of various agencies. On December 3, 2002, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement was published in the Federal Register, beginning the formal scoping process for the project. The NOI identified goals for the project, and public scoping meetings were held on October 22, October 29, and November 2, 2002, with a site visit for the public held on November 9, 2002, to solicit input on the project and its potential impacts. Following these meetings, a Big Lagoon Working Group consisting of interested individuals, agencies, and organizations was formed to help develop project alternatives. The working group convened regularly in meetings that were open to the public. In addition, two alternatives workshops were held for the public on September 30 and October 4, 2003. The results of those workshops, as well as a more detailed summary of the scoping process, are presented in the Alternatives Public Workshops Report (NPS 2004). Finally, Marin County circulated a Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report on April 27, 2004, soliciting comments on the specific issues to be included in the scope of CEQA environmental review. All of these activities informed the alternatives formulation process. Comments: Copies of the Draft EIS/EIR will be sent to affected Federal, Tribal, State and local government agencies, to interested parties, and those requesting copies. Paper and digital copies (compact disc) of the document will also be available at park headquarters and at local libraries. The complete document will be posted on the GGNRA's Web site (http://www.nps.gov/goga) and on NPS's Planning, Environment and Public Comment Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/goga). All written comments must be postmarked or transmitted no later than 75 days from the date of EPA's notice of filing published in the Federal Register (as soon as this occurs, the confirmed close of the comment period will be posted on the Web sites noted above, and listed in all notification announcements sent from GGNRA). Written comments will be accepted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/goga (click on the project title and follow instructions), or by sending a letter addressed as follows: Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123 (Attn: Muir Beach Creek and Wetland Restoration). Two public meetings will be scheduled to hear comments on the Draft EIS/EIR, approximately 30 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Please visit the project Web site (noted above) to learn more about the project, planning process, and the confirmed dates and time for the public meetings. Questions regarding this project may also be directed at any time to Steve Ortega (415) 561-4841 or via e-mail at steve firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments are maintained in the administrative record and will be available for public review at GGNRA headquarters. Please note our practice is to make comments, including names, home addresses, home phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of respondents, available for public review. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their names and/or home addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this information you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exceptional, documentable circumstances, this information will be released. We will always make submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives of or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. Decision Process: Following the analysis of all comments received concerning the Draft EIS/EIR, at this time it is anticipated that the Final EIS/EIR would be completed in spring 2007. The availability of the final documents will be announced in the Federal Register, and also publicized via local and regional press media, direct mailings, and Web site postings. Not sooner than thirty days after the distribution of the Final EIS/EIR, a Record of Decision may be executed (at this time it is anticipated a recommended decision would be developed in summer 2007). As a delegated EIS the approving official responsible for the final decision is the Regional Director, Pacific West Region. Subsequently, the official responsible for implementing the approved wetland and restoration plan will be the General Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Notice of National Natural Landmark Designation for Irvine Ranch, Orange County, CA
The Secretary of the Interior has determined that an area of 36,398 acres within the Irvine Ranch in Orange County, California meets the criteria for national significance and has designated this site a National Natural Landmark.
Notice of Continuation of Visitor Services
Pursuant to the terms of existing concession contracts, public notice is hereby given that the National Park Service intends to request a continuation of visitor services for a period not-to-exceed 1 year from the date of contract expiration.
Notice of Extension of Concession Contracts
Pursuant to 36 CFR 51.23, public notice is hereby given that the National Park Service proposes to extend the following expiring concession contracts for a period of up to one year, or until each time as a new contract is executed, whichever occurs sooner.
Notice of Intent (NOI) To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for an Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan (ORV Management Plan) for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC
Notice is hereby given in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4332, and Council on Environmental Quality regulations, 40 CFR 1506.6, that the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service (NPS), will prepare an ORV Management Plan/EIS. The ORV Management Plan/EIS will be used to guide the management and control of ORVs at Cape Hatteras National Seashore (the Seashore), North Carolina, for approximately the next 10 to 15 years. It will also form the basis for a special regulation that would regulate ORV use at the Seashore. The ORV Management Plan/EIS will assess potential environmental impacts associated with a range of reasonable alternatives for managing ORV impacts on park resources such as threatened and endangered species, soils, wetlands, wildlife, and cultural resources. Socioeconomic impacts and effects on visitor experience and public safety will also be analyzed.
National Park Service Benefits-Sharing Draft Environmental Impact Statement
The National Park Service published a Notice of Availability on September 26, 2006, (71 FR 186) for the National Park Service Benefits-Sharing Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The public comment period was to expire December 15, 2006. This notice extends the public comment period until January 29, 2007.
Notice of Receipt of Application for Telecommunication Site
(Authority: 47 U.S.C. 332 (Telecommunications Act of 1996); 16 U.S.C. 5; other applicable authorities and Director's order 53) Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has received an application from Commnet Four Corners, LLC, to install and operate a wireless (cellular) telephone system. The location of the proposed telecommunication site is at the Lake Powell Resort near Page, Arizona. Commnet ``brokers'' cellular time with major cellular providers enabling most callers to connect and be billed based on their existing calling plans. Both voice and data services will eventually be available.
60-Day Notice of Intention To Request Clearance of Collection of Information; Opportunity for Public Comment
Under provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and 5 CFR Part 1320, Reporting and Record Keeping Requirements, the National Park Service (NPS) invites comments on a proposed new collection of information (OMB 1024-XXXX).
Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the General Management Plan/Wilderness Study, Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri
Under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the National Park Service (NPS) is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) for a General Management Plan/Wilderness Study (GMP/WS) for Ozark National Scenic Riverways (Riverways). The GMP/WS will prescribe the resource conditions and visitor experiences that are to be achieved and maintained in the Riverways over the next 15 to 20 years.
Establishment of a New Fee Area at Voyageurs National Park
This notice is to comply with section 804 of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 (Pub. L. No. 108-447). The Act requires agencies to give the public advance notice (6 months) of the establishment of a new recreation fee area. Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota plans to collect an expanded amenity recreation fee of $35 per night for two group camp sites beginning the summer of 2007. Revenue will be used to support deferred maintenance in the campsites, to cover the cost of collections at the park, and to pay for contractor-provided reservation services.
Glacier Bay National Park, Vessel Management Plan Regulations
This rule revises the special regulations for vessel quotas and operating requirements for cruise ships, tour vessels, charter vessels, private vessels, and passenger ferries within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The rule implements the related final environmental impact statement completed in 2003 for vessel management in the park and preserve. This rule also makes nonsubstantive technical reorganizational changes for all of part 13. The part 13 reorganization, while not included in the proposed rule, is a result of comments received regarding the complexity of the Glacier Bay regulations specifically, as well as comments received previously for various rulemaking documents concerning the organization of part 13 generally.
Notice of Scoping for Commercial Services Plan; Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI
Pursuant to requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Pub. L. 91-190), the National Park Service is initiating the conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process regarding a commercial services plan proposed for Haleakala National Park. This Notice initiates scoping for the process that is expected to result in changes to the types of commercial services offered in the park and the way they are managed by the park. Haleakala National Park proposes to develop a long-term Commercial Services Plan (CSP) so that increasing visitor use may be accommodated in a manner compatible with the park's mission; and to assure that a full range of necessary and appropriate commercial services are developed and managed so that potential impacts to cultural and natural resources and visitor experience would be minimized. The CSP will be consistent with the park's mission and purpose statements and management goals as specified in legislation and as outlined in the Strategic Plan for Haleakala National Park (fiscal year 2005-2008). Background and Preliminary Issues: Thus far, topics considered necessary to address in developing the CSP include: Assessing if, or the degree to which, commercial service uses of the park and overcrowding are contributing to the degradation of natural and cultural resources, as well as adversely affecting visitor use and appreciation of the park; determining whether public health and safety are being compromised through uncontrolled uses of the park; and evaluating whether commercial services are operated in a manner that is consistent with the mission of the park and/or whether there is a consistent portrayal by commercial service operators of the park message. Information from the public and interested groups is desired so that all pertinent issues and concerns which should be addressed in the conservation planning and environmental impact analysis for the CSP may be identified. At this time, the preliminary range of issues and public concerns deemed necessary to consider include the following: Sunrise atop Haleakala is one of the most promoted tourist activities offered by the visitor industry on Maui. The Summit area of the park frequently receives over 1,300 visitors at sunrise. The concentration of visitor use has resulted in trampling of threatened and endangered plant species, increased social trailing resulting in accelerated erosion, and introduction of non-native species. Sunrise visitation has increased over the past decade to a point that visitors in private vehicles are turned away from parking areas filled beyond capacity on a regular basis by commercial vehicles. Members of the park's Kipuna Groups on Maui indicated that the sacredness of the Haleakala Summit area is diminished by too many people visiting the site, and opportunities to conduct cultural practices in peace are limited. More than one in five visitors to the Haleakala Visitor Center before 8 a.m. felt moderately or more crowded; more than one third of the visitors surveyed before 8 a.m. saw more people than they think the park should allow. Throughout the day, there are other significant peaks of visitation that result in facilities at many park destinations being filled beyond capacity by visitors arriving in private vehicles or on commercial tours (often with simultaneous arrival of several commercial operators). When the parking areas are filled, health and safety concerns result due to inability of emergency vehicles (ambulance, law enforcement, and fire apparatus) to rapidly access these areas. Other NPS concerns include degradation of various park trails resulting partially from commercial horse tour activities. In the Summit Area, trails are used jointly by hikers and by horse riders. The trails are located in fragile ecosystems where the trail tread does not hold up well to excessive use resulting in un- natural erosion. At the trailheads and along the first three to five miles into the backcountry and designated Wilderness, trail crowding from multiple users including commercial horse and hiking tours is diminishing the experience of solitude in Wilderness. The mixed use also leads to conflicts and off-trail damage as hikers seek to move away from dust, manure, and smell of horses. Current permits allow for limited sizes of groups but do not regulate numbers of trips per day or per week. Presently commercial use activities in the Kipahulu area includes guided and unguided hikes along the park's existing visitor trails and horse tour guided trips on a separate trail designated for horses only. Commercial tours typically leave from the same pick-up points and arrive at generally the same time at Kipahulu; this combined with tour vans and buses of various sizes crowd into the parking area causing traffic congestion and crowded hiking (which in turn prompts trampling of vegetation and unsafe off-trail use). Visitor injuries and deaths have occurred in these stream areas and the park discourages visitors from entering these pools and narrow areas. Privately guided hiking activities in the Kipahulu area may also be contributing to formation of social (unauthorized) trails that follow the stream corridor and lead to upstream pools. All park visitors and service providers should be using NPS authorized and maintained trail to minimize resource; the deep trail substrate combined with very high average rainfall causes erosion, deep trenching, and very slippery and dangerous conditions. Scoping Process: At this time, the NPS invites the public, other Federal agencies, Native Hawaiian groups, state and local governments, and all other interested parties to participate in the initial scoping and in the alternative development process. For initial scoping and alternatives development, the most useful comments are those that provide the NPS with assistance in identifying environmental issues, suitable range of alternatives, and other concerns that should be considered early in the commercial services and environmental planning process for these projects. At this time it has not been determined if an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared. Although it is anticipated that an Environmental Assessment will be the appropriate level of environmental compliance, this scoping process will aid in the preparation of either document (and responses during this scoping period will be helpful in making this determination). All respondents to this Notice will be included in a mailing list to be used to invite review and comment on the subsequent environmental document. The public scoping period for the commercial services plan has been initiatedall written comments must be postmarked or transmitted not later than 60 days from the date of publication of this Notice (as soon as this date can be confirmed it will be announced on the park's Web site). Interested individuals, organizations, and agencies wishing to provide written comments may respond by regular mail to Commercial Services Plan, c/o Superintendent, Haleakala National Park, P.O. Box 369, Makawao, Maui, HI 96768 (or via e-mail c/o HALECSP@nps.gov). Our practice is to make comments, including names, home addresses, home phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of respondents, available for public review. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their names and/or home addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this information you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exceptional, documentable circumstances, this information will be released. We will always make submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives of or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. Public Meetings: The NPS will also conduct a public scoping meeting and open house to provide information about this project, to discuss issues and concerns informally with NPS representatives and to receive written comments. These scoping activities will be conducted on October 17 and 18, 2006. The October 17th meeting will be at 6 p.m. at Helene Hall in Hana. The October 18th meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Mayor Hanibal Tavares Community Center in Pukulani. Future Information and Decision Process: Future information about this conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process for the proposed commercial services plan will be distributed via direct mailings and announcements in regional and local news media, and updates will be regularly posted on the park's Web site (http:// www.nps.gov/hale). Availability of the forthcoming environmental document for review and written comment will be announced by local and regional news media, the above listed Web site, direct mailing (or in the case of an EIS, also by formal Notice of Availability of a Draft EIS published in the Federal Register). At this time the document is anticipated to be available for public review and comment in late summer, 2007. Comments on the document will be fully considered in the environmental decision-making process and responded to as appropriate. The official responsible for the decision is the Regional Director, Pacific West Region, National Park Service; subsequently the official responsible for implementation would be the Superintendent, Haleakala National Park.
Final Environmental Impact Statement; Non-Native Deer Management Plan; Point Reyes National Seashore; Marin County, CA; Notice of Approval of Record of Decision
Pursuant to Sec. 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L.91-190, as amended) and the implementing regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR Part 1505.2), the Department of the Interior, National Park Service has prepared, and the Regional Director, Pacific West Region has approved, the Record of Decision for the Non-Native Deer Management Plan for Pt. Reyes National Seashore. The formal no-action period was officially initiated August 18, 2006, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Federal Register notification of the filing of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Decision: As soon as practicable the Seashore will begin to implement as its new Non-Native Deer Management Plan the Preferred Alternative (Alternative E) contained in the Draft and Final EIS. The selected plan features a deliberate, long-term strategy targeting eradication of all fallow and axis deer from the Seashore by 2021. A combined program of fertility control (using long-lasting contraceptives) and lethal removal will be instituted, as well as an intensive monitoring program extending for at least 15 years. As documented in the Final EIS, this course of action was deemed to be ``environmentally preferred''. The preferred plan and four alternatives were identified and analyzed in the Final EIS, and previously in the Draft EIS (the latter was distributed in February, 2005). The full spectrum of foreseeable environmental consequences was assessed, and appropriate mitigation measures identified, for each alternative. Beginning with early scoping, through the preparation of the Draft and Final EIS, numerous public meetings were hosted. Approximately 2000 oral and written comments were received during the scoping phase or in response to the Draft EIS. Key consultations or other contacts which aided in preparing the Draft and Final EIS involved (but were not limited to) the California Department of Fish and Game, California State Parks, Marin County Parks and Open Space, Marin Municipal Water District, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Local communities, county and city officials, and interested organizations were contacted extensively during initial scoping and throughout the conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process. Copies: Interested parties desiring to review the Record of Decision may obtain a complete copy by contacting the Superintendent, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes, CA 94956; or via telephone request at (415) 464-5100.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park; Notice of Public Meeting
Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Advisory Commission will be held at 9:30 a.m., on Friday, January 19, 2007, at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Headquarters, 1850 Dual Highway, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740.
Notice of Availability of the Draft White-tailed Deer Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement, Catoctin Mountain Park, MD
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of the Draft White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Catoctin Mountain Park, Thurmont, Maryland. The purpose of the DEIS is to identify a preferred white-tailed deer management plan from a range of alternatives that supports forest regeneration and provides for long-term protection, conservation, and restoration of native species and cultural resources. The DEIS evaluates four alternatives for managing white-tailed deer in the park. The document describes and analyzes the environmental impacts of three action alternatives and the no-action alternative. When implemented, the plan will guide deer management actions over the next 15 years.
Final General Management Plan and Comprehensive River Management Plan/Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and North Fork of the Kern River; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Tulare and Fresno Counties, California; Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement
Pursuant to Sec. 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, Department of the Interior, has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the General Management Plan (GMP) and Comprehensive River Management for the Middle and South Forks Kings River and the North Fork Kern River and for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks located in California. The purpose and need for the plans is to establish a park vision for the next 15-20 years, provide direction for the management of wild and scenic rivers, replace an outdated master plan, guide management of cultural and natural resources, address unresolved issues in specific areas, and address the changing context of the parks within the regional ecosystem. Proposed Plan and Alternatives: The final EIS describes and analyzes five alternatives which respond to both NPS planning requirements and to the issues identified during the public scoping process. The No-Action alternative would continue current management direction, and it is the baseline for comparing the other alternatives (it was originally Alternative B when the alternatives were first presented to the public in the winter of 2000). The Preferred Alternative would accommodate sustainable growth and visitor enjoyment, protect ecosystem diversity, and preserve basic character while adapting to changing user groups (this was also determined to be ``environmentally preferred''). Alternative A would emphasize natural ecosystems and biodiversity, with reduced use and development; Alternative C would preserve the parks' traditional character and retain the feel of yesteryear, with guided growth; and Alternative D would preserve the basic character and adapt to changing user groups. Also included is a comprehensive river management plan for the portions of the Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and the North Fork of the Kern River, which have been designated by Congress as components of the national wild and scenic rivers system. The purpose of the river management plan is to provide direction and overall guidance on the management of lands and uses within the river corridors. Regarding wilderness, although the GMP does address compatibility of the alternatives with the park's backcountry and wilderness values, there is no new wilderness designation proposed under any of the alternatives. The foreseeable environmental consequences of each alternative, and appropriate mitigation strategies, are identified and analyzed in the EIS. Public Review and Changes in the Final Document: Prior to development of the Draft EIS, nine scoping meetings were held, seven planning newsletters issued; alternatives planning workshops were held in seven cities; and the parks regularly communicated with the cooperating association and concessioners authorized to operate in the parks. Meetings and contacts have occurred with special use permittees, private landowners; and numerous other stakeholders. The project mailing list included more than 3700 entries. The Draft EIS was available for 150 days review during May-October, 2004. It was made available at local area libraries, and could be reviewed electronically via http://www.nps.gov/seki or http://planning.den.nps.gov/seki. Printed and CD copies were sent upon request, and also distributed to agencies and organizations listed as recipients in the Consultation and Coordination section of the EIS. Public meetings to facilitate review and comment on the Draft EIS were held during the comment period both in the parks, as well as in the following locations: Thee Rivers, Visalia, Fresno/Clovis, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Bishop. Approximately 400 comments were received; this information resulted in minor corrections and clarifications to the Draft EIS/GMP. Editorial changes and additional explanatory text on topics of interest were incorporated. There were no substantive changes due to public commentary. Following the closure of the public comment period, Pub. L. 108-447 was enacted and changes to the document to accommodate this public law were made with regard to two areas with special use permits: (1) The law that appended the Mineral King area to the park in 1978 required that use of cabins at Mineral King be phased out upon the deaths of the permittees of record. Pub. L. 108-447 amended Pub. L. 95-625 by authorizing indefinite extension of special use permits to heirs, successors and assigns; and (2) Pub. L. 108-447 amended Pub. L. 99-338 to allow the Secretary to permit Southern California Edison Co. up to two additional ten-year permit periods of hydroelectric operations until 2026. Description of Alternatives: The Final EIS for the GMP/ Comprehensive River Management Plans includes four action alternatives and a no-action alternative which continues current management. The Comprehensive River management Plan would be common to every alternative. The No-Action Alternative (Continue Current Management): The parks are managed as they are now in accordance with approved plans (such as development concept plans, and the 1996 Giant Forest Interim Management Plan); negative resource impacts and visitor demands are mitigated by relocating development, reducing some uses, or confining new developed areas. Visitor uses are reassessed and revised as new information about natural and cultural resource impacts and visitor needs emerges. Current facilities are inadequate for park needs and visitor use levels, and crowding is common in some areas. Preferred Alternative: The parks' appeal is broadened to be more relevant to diverse user groups, Increased day use is accommodated, and overnight visitation is retained. The integrity of park resources is paramount. Stronger educational and outreach programs provide enjoyment and introduce park conservation values. The basic character of park activities and the rustic architecture of facilities are retained so that the parks remain strikingly different from surrounding areas. Park administrative facilities are redesigned and may be relocated outside the parks. Park facilities accommodate sustainable growth. Stock use continues with appropriate management and monitoring. Alternative A: Emphasize Natural Ecosystems and Biodiversity; Reduce Use and Development: The parks are natural resource preserves; they are primarily valued because they contain publicly owned resources that will be conserved for the future. Levels of use are lower than at present, and visitor experiences are more directly connected to natural resources and provide more solitude. The parks contrast strongly with surrounding lands which are continuing to develop. Park managers aggressively cooperate with the managers of surrounding lands to enhance range-wide biodiversity. Alternative C: Preserve Traditional Character and Retain the Feel of Yesteryear; Guide Growth: The parks present a traditional character and the feeling of yesteryear, where experiences are more reminiscent of how visitors used the parks in the past. This is conveyed through rustic architecture and lower impact recreational activities (such as sightseeing and hiking) that were popular from the 1920s to the 1960s, providing an experience that is strikingly different from that in an urban setting. Redesigned developed areas accommodate limited growth; overnight stays are encouraged. Negative impacts on natural resources are controlled, so as to maintain or improve resource conditions. Alternative D: Preserve Basic Character and Adapt to Changing User Groups; Guide Growth: The parks preserve some of their traditional character and rustic architecture, but diverse new user groups and uses are encouraged. Day use is more common. Facilities are expanded to meet users' needs, while frequent interpretive programs are offered to educate, entertain, and instill a sense of park conservation values. Negative impacts on natural resources are controlled or mitigated, so as to maintain or improve resource conditions. Addresses and Further Information: Copies of the Final EIS will be available for public review in the office of the Superintendent and at local area public libraries, and may also be requested (by those not presently on the mailing list) by contacting the park by letter at: Final EIS/GMP, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271-9651; by telephone at (559) 565-3101; or by e-mail at email@example.com. Please note that names and addresses of all respondents will become part of the public record. Our practice is to make all comments, including names, home addresses, home phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of respondents, available for public review. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their names and/or home addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this information you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exceptional, documentable circumstances, this information will be released. We will always make submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives of or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. Decision: The National Park Service will execute a Record of Decision not sooner than 30 days following publication by the Environmental Protection Agency of their notice of filing of the Final EIS in the Federal Register. As a delegated EIS the official responsible for the final approval of the General Management Plan and Comprehensive River Management Plan is the Regional Director; subsequently the official responsible for implementing the new plans would be the Superintendent, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
30-Day Notice of Submission to Office of Management and Budget; Opportunity for Public Comment
Under provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and 5 CFR part 1320, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, the National Park Service (NPS) invites comments on a currently approved collection of information (OMB Control 1024-0125). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove the NPS request to renew this information collection, but may respond after 30 days. Therefore, to ensure maximum consideration, OMB should receive public comments within 30 days of the date on which this notice is published in the Federal Register.
Notice of Scoping for Completion of El Portal Road Rehabilitation; Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County, CA
Notice is hereby given, in accord with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) that public scoping has been initiated for a conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process for the completion of road improvements to the El Portal Road in Yosemite National Park. The purpose of the scoping process is to elicit public comment regarding applicable issues and concerns, a suitable range of alternatives, and the nature and extent of potential environmental impacts and appropriate mitigating measures which should be addressed. This project would result in completion of the Highway 140 improvements which began in 1997 following floods which extensively damaged the road. The proposed reconstruction would improve the one mile segment of the El Portal Road from the intersection of the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) and the El Portal Road (Highway 140) to the west, and Pohono Bridge to the east (also known as Segment D). The pending environmental analysis will evaluate alternatives, including a no-action alternative, and one or more action alternatives. Some of the project elements that may be evaluated include: Reconstructing failing retaining walls and undercut road sections; Altering the lane and/or the shoulder to enhance traffic safety; Replacing portions of the existing stone wall with a reinforced concrete guardwall; Improving the El Portal Road-Big Oak Flat Road intersection; Improving, relocating, and/or removing some parking spaces; Improving road drainage with new culverts and drainage ditches; Repaving road surfaces; and Maintaining the road's essential historic character as a winding, narrow mountain road. Public Involvement: As noted, the NPS will conduct an environmental review of feasible alternatives and potential impacts on rehabilitation of segment of road corridor. 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. This environmental review of a reasonable range of alternatives for rehabilitation this segment of the El Portal Road is being conducted by Yosemite National Park. As a key step for initiating this environmental review, the park invites the public, other Federal agencies, American Indian tribes, State and local governments, and all other interested parties to participate in the initial scoping and alternative development process. For initial scoping and alternatives development, the most useful comments are those which aid the park in identifying environmental issues, public concerns, and pertinent information that can be used to help: Determine resource issues and visitor concerns that may need to be evaluated; Formulate alternatives for fulfilling the purpose and need for the proposed project; and/or Identify potential cumulative actions and/or appropriate mitigation strategies which should be considered. Responses to this Scoping Notice will also be used to establish a mailing list of people and organizations interested in receiving further information as the environmental document is developed. Please contact the park by mail, e-mail, or fax (see below) to request placement on the mailing list; for all types of requests please be sure to include your full mailing address. In addition to direct mailings, additional information about this conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process will be regularly distributed via regional and local news media and by posting to the Yosemite National Park Web page (http://www.nps.gov/yose/planning). The public scoping period for this Segment D environmental review will be open for 45 days from the date of publication of this Scoping Notice in the Federal Registerimmediately upon confirmation of this date it will be announced on the park's Web site. Scoping meetings and public open houses will be held on a regular basis in Yosemite National Park, California. Specific locations and dates for these meetings will be announced in local and regional media and via direct mailings. Interested individuals, organizations, and agencies wishing to provide written comments on issues and concerns or provide pertinent information may by mail to: Superintendent, ATTN: El Portal Road Rehabilitation, Yosemite National Park, PO Box 577, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389; via Fax at (209) 379-1294; or electronically via yose firstname.lastname@example.org. Our practice is to make comments, including names, home addresses, home phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of respondents, available for public review. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their names and/or home addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this information you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exceptional, documentable circumstances, this information will be released. We will always make submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives of or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. Decision Process: Availability of the forthcoming environmental document for public review and written comment will be announced by local and regional news media, via the above listed Web site, and by direct mailing. At this time, the document is anticipated to be available for public review and comment in summer of 2007. All comments received will be duly considered in the environmental decision-making process and responded to as appropriate. At this time, it is anticipated that a final decision will be recommended during autumn of 2007. The official responsible for the decision is the Regional Director, Pacific West Region, National Park Service; subsequently, the official responsible for implementation is the Superintendent, Yosemite National Park.
Notice of Proposed Award; Temporary Concession Contract for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Public notice is hereby given that the National Park Service proposes to award a temporary concession contract that requires the operation of horseback riding stables and vending machine sales of soft drinks and bottled water, and authorizes limited souvenir sales in the Sugarlands region of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a term not to exceed October 31, 2007.