National Park Service February 5, 2013 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Acceptance of Concurrent Jurisdiction
Document Number: 2013-02483
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-02-05
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
On behalf of the United States, the National Park Service has accepted concurrent legislative jurisdiction from the State of Washington over lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Personal Watercraft Use at Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida and Mississippi
Document Number: 2013-02482
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-02-05
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service (NPS) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the impacts of Personal Watercraft (PWC) use at Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS). Personal Watercraft use emerged at GUIS in the 1980s and was permitted in units of the national park system under the same regulations as other motorized watercraft. However, on March 21, 2000, the NPS published a regulation governing PWC use within all units of the national park system (65 FR 15077, codified at 36 CFR 3.24). This regulation prohibits PWC use in all national park units unless the NPS determines that this type of water-based recreational activity is appropriate for the specific park unit based on the legislation establishing that park, the park's resources and values, other visitor uses of the area, and overall management objectives. In 2004, the NPS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a special regulation to allow continued PWC use at GUIS. The purpose of the EA was to evaluate a range of alternatives and strategies for the management of PWC use at GUIS to ensure the protection of park resources and values, while offering recreational opportunities as provided for in the GUIS enabling legislation, purpose, mission, and goals. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed on January 25, 2006. The NPS published the final regulation for PWC use at GUIS in the Federal Register on May 4, 2006 (71 FR 26232). On May 15, 2008, a lawsuit was filed claiming that the PWC EA was deficient and violated NEPA, the NPS Organic Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. On July 8, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the impact analysis in the EA was inadequate. The court did not vacate the current PWC rule at GUIS, but remanded the case to the NPS ``so that it may have an opportunity to provide adequate reasoning for its conclusions.'' The special regulation remains in effect at GUIS and PWC are currently still allowed to operate under the restrictions identified in the park's special regulation. At this time, the NPS intends to address the deficiencies identified by the court by preparing an EIS for PWC use at GUIS, which will include supplemental documentation, impact analyses not present in the earlier EA, and may include additional alternatives.