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Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan Available for Public Review and Comment

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Date: June 10, 2013
Contact: Sabrina Henry, 435-719-2135

The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that its Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan for Arches National Park is available for public review and comment.

In order to determine what impacts rock climbing, canyoneering and associated activities have on park resources, and to consider how to manage these activities in order to protect park resources, the NPS has completed an environmental assessment/assessment of effect (EA/AEF). The plan identifies a number of issues associated with these activities including effects on natural and cultural resources and wilderness character, increased use levels, development of new routes and approach trails, use of fixed gear, rock alteration, and visitor safety and experience impacts.

The EA/AEF evaluates three alternatives: a no-action alternative and two action alternatives. Alternative A (No Action) describes the current management of rock climbing and canyoneering in the park. Alternative B (Preferred) proposes management of climbing and canyoneering activities through an adaptive management process, initiated based upon current uses and resource conditions and then altered over time given changes in these factors. Alternative C proposes a minimum management approach with emphasis on educational opportunities for canyoneers and climbers focusing on park resources, safety, and minimum impact use.

The EA/AEF is available for public review and comment on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/arch under "Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan." Individuals who wish to obtain a CD or hardcopy of the document may do so by contacting Sabrina Henry at (435) 719-2135. Hard copies will be available for review at the Southeast Utah Group Headquarters on Resource Blvd., the Arches National Park Visitor Center, and the Grand County Public Library. Comments unable to be made on the PEPC website can be sent to: National Park Service, Southeast Utah Group, Attn: Planning and Compliance Coordinator, 2282 S. West Resource Blvd, Moab, Utah 84532.

Deadline for comments is July 9, 2013.

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