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 (https:// 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 https://www.nps.gov/seki or https://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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 (https://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 email@example.com. 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.
National Capital Region; Notice/Request for Comments-The Christmas Pageant of Peace
The National Park Service is seeking public comments and suggestions on the planning of the 2006 Christmas Pageant of Peace.
Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement on the Schoodic General Management Plan Amendment, Acadia National Park, ME
The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Schoodic General Management Plan Amendment, Acadia National Park, Maine. Acadia National Park includes 2,366 acres on the Schoodic Peninsula, which offers exceptional views of the rocky coast and surrounding islands in an uncrowded environment and attracts approximately 250,000 visits a year. The Schoodic District contains two ``Rare Natural Communities'' (Jack Pine Woodland and Maritime Shrubland), several rare plant species, and significant wildlife habitat, as identified by the Maine Natural Areas Program. Schoodic also protects pristine intertidal areas, exemplary geologic features, and extraordinary scenery. In addition, much of the Schoodic District is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places because of its historically significant cultural landscape. In 2002, the NPS acquired a former navy base located within the Schoodic District. The former base contains 36 major buildings, totaling approximately 206,000 square feet. Only two buildings on the former navy base, the Rockefeller Building (a 1935 apartment and office building) and its powerhouse, are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. This ROD documents the decision by the NPS to implement the preferred alternative (Alternative CCollaborative Management) of the Schoodic General Management Plan Amendment as the selected action. Under this alternative, the NPS will develop the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC) at the former navy base to facilitate research and education that promotes the understanding, protection, and conservation of natural and cultural resources of the National Park System and advance related research and education at the regional, national, and international levels. The NPS will enter into a long-term cooperative agreement with an independent nonprofit organization to assist in carrying out the mission of SERC. The cooperative agreement will include the assignment of real property to the nonprofit organization for its direct use and possible reassignment to tenant partners. The nonprofit organization will, among other responsibilities, promote appropriate research and education, cultivate and facilitate partnerships, and manage facilities and services at SERC. The nonprofit organization will have sufficient autonomy to be creative and flexible in developing and managing SERC consistent with NPS laws, regulations, policies, and management documents. A full range of revenue-generating and fundraising approaches will be used to support SERC to ensure that its programs and activities are financially viable. The NPS will collaborate with the nonprofit organization and other partners at SERC to provide research and educational opportunities. The NPS will provide security, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and fire protection for the SERC campus, and maintain its roads, grounds, building envelopes, and utility systems. The NPS and nonprofit organization will share responsibilities for site renovation and construction to convert buildings to research and education use and facilitate the efficient reuse of the site. The NPS will redesign the landscape of the former navy base to create a suitable setting for research and education activities, minimize impervious surfaces, and improve its appearance. Incompatible elements that diminish the safety, appearance, or efficient use of the campus will be mitigated or removed. The NPS will manage resources and visitor use consistent with the management zone in which they are located. The NPS will implement management actions to ensure that natural, cultural, and scenic resources and values are protected, and the character of the Schoodic District is preserved. The NPS will encourage compatible land use adjacent to the park on the Schoodic Peninsula and surrounding islands through acquisition of conservation easements and participation in the land use planning and regulatory processes of the State of Maine and neighboring jurisdictions. The NPS will also cooperate with the State of Maine, local governments, and others to achieve collective goals, such as land protection, mutual aid for emergency medical services and fire protection, and management of the Schoodic National Scenic Byway. The ROD briefly discusses the selected action, other alternatives considered, basis for decision, and measures to minimize impacts and address public concerns.
General Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennsylvania
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 General Management Plan for Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennsylvania.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report; Giacomini Wetlands Restoration Project, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, CA; Notice of Availability
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 Draft Environmental Impact Statement identifying and evaluating the no action alternative and four action alternatives for restoration activities in Giacomini Wetlands. When approved, the project planning will guide the NPS in restorating lands at the headwaters of Tomales Bay, Marin County, California. Because some of the proposed project area includes state, county and private lands, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement also includes information as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). The California State Lands Commission is the CEQA lead agency for this project. The potential impacts of a ``no action'' alternative and four ``action'' alternatives are assessed and, where appropriate, mitigation measures are applied to reduce the intensity of the potential effect or to avoid the potential effect. Three other preliminary alternatives were considered but rejected because they did not achieve the objectives of the restoration plan or were infeasible.
Notice of Availability of a Record of Decision for the Fort King Special Resource Study
Congress, in the Interior Appropriations Act of 2000, authorized the Fort King Special Resource Study and Final Environmental Impact Statement (``Study''). The legislation directed the National Park Service (NPS) to determine whether Fort King is nationally significant and, if so, whether it is suitable and feasible as a new unit of the National Park System. Acknowledging the site's National Historic Landmark (NHL) status, the Study determined that Fort King is nationally significant. In addition, the Study determined that Fort King is suitable and feasible for inclusion in the National Park System because its interpretive themes are underrepresented in the current system and the property is of sufficient size and shape to protect resources and accommodate public use. The study does not, however, propose an active NPS management role at the site. Rather, existing programs such as Save America's Treasures and Preserve America are used to exemplify the types of NPS assistance available to future non- Federal managers of the Fort King property. The Final Study was distributed for public review in August 2006. The NPS has prepared a Record of Decision (ROD) on the Study to document the decision made, the background of the project, other alternatives considered, the basis for the decision, the environmentally preferable alternative, and the public involvement in the decision-making process. The 1998 Omnibus Parks Management Act (Pub. L. 105-391 Sec. 303) mandates that each Special Resources Study (SRS) identify the alternative or combination of alternatives which would, in the professional judgment of the Director of the NPS, be ``most effective and efficient in protecting significant resources and providing for public enjoyment.'' The Study identifies Alternative B in the Study as the environmentally preferred alternative and most effective and efficient alternative because it preserves more of the site's archeological resources in an undisturbed condition and minimizes capital expenditures and long-term operating costs. Under Alternative B, the historic significance of Fort King would be communicated to visitors primarily through self-guided interpretive trails, wayside exhibits, and brochures. The park would not have a permanent on-site staff. Guided tours and live interpretation programs for school groups and special events would be provided by volunteers on a case by case basis. The site's existing wooded landscape would remain predominantly unchanged. Pedestrian trails would be cleared by vegetation and lightly graded. Trees and other woody vegetation immediately surrounding the fort location would be thinned or removed for interpretive purposes. The Federal government would not assume ownership of land, impose zoning or land use controls, or take responsibility for permanent funding. Likewise, there would be no direct NPS ownership or management of resources. As with other National Historic Landmarks, the NPS could provide technical assistance for general planning, resource management, and interpretation. However, overall management of the Fort King site would be administered by one or more local entities. The Study also presented in detail a No Action and two Action Alternatives that describe different ways of commemorating, interpreting, and preserving resources associated with Fort King. All alternatives are described in detail in the Study. Alternative B provides a broad range of public benefits such as improved public access, long-term preservation of archeological resources, and increased visitor awareness of the site's national significance while minimizing capital expenditures and long-term operating costs.