public review period begin for glen canyon off-road vehicle management plan
Page, AZ – The Off-road Vehicle Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Plan/DEIS) for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Glen Canyon) is available for public review and comment. The Plan/DEIS analyzes a range of alternatives and actions for managing off-road use of motor vehicles and on-road use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and street-legal all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The Plan/DEIS assesses the environmental impacts that could result from continuing current management (the no-action alternative) or implementing any of the four action alternatives. The Plan/DEIS is being made available for public review and comment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
Superintendent Todd Brindle is pleased that the process to draft the Plan/DEIS has been an inclusive effort. “In addition to input from neighboring UT counties and the Bureau of Land Management, comments were gathered from the general public at numerous venues with regards to issues and concerns as well as preliminary plan alternatives,” stated Brindle. “I hope that all those who are interested in the management of motorized vehicles at Glen Canyon will review this draft and provide comments.”
An electronic copy may be downloaded at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/
Five alternatives are analyzed. Alternative A, the "no-action" alternative, represents the continuation of existing management policies and action related to the use of ORVs in Glen Canyon and represents “no change” from the current level of management direction and level of management intensity. Alternative B, the environmentally preferred alternative, does not designate any ORV routes or areas and would allow motorized vehicle use only on existing park roads. Alternative C would expand recreational opportunities by increasing the number of ORV routes and areas as well as the types of vehicles that would be allowed on park roads. Alternative D would limit the number of ORV routes and areas and prohibit the operation of OHVs and ATVs throughout Glen Canyon. Alternative E, the NPS preferred alternative, designates a mixture of opportunities for motorized recreation on park roads and designated ORV routes and at remote shoreline areas while prohibiting such uses in areas where resources and values may be at risk.
All action alternatives include provisions to improve signs and road/route markings, develop a communication strategy to better educate visitors on regulations and resource concerns, and to close and restore routes and areas not designated for off-road use. In alternatives that would provide for off-road use, management and mitigation strategies are outlined to address the impacts from off-road use. This would include implementation of a permit system to provide for education on applicable regulations, provide for visitor safety, prevent resource damage and recover costs for monitoring, mitigation, education and administration of the permit system.
All comments on the Plan/DEIS are welcome, particularly those that assess the adequacy of the document in disclosing and evaluating the effects on the environment. These comments are most useful if they are as specific as possible and do the following:
The NPS will consider input received during the public review and comment period for the Plan/DEIS to prepare the Final Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan and EIS (Plan/FEIS). We anticipate the Plan/FEIS will be prepared and made available for public review in late 2014. Pursuant to NPS policy and regulations, the alternative that is selected will then be adopted as a special regulation governing off-road use of motor vehicles and on-road use of OHVs and ATVs at Glen Canyon. To stay informed about the upcoming regulation process, visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/
Glen Canyon will hold an Open House to provide an opportunity for the public to find out more about the Plan/DEIS and the alternatives on Tuesday, February 12, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters, located at 691 Scenic View Drive in Page, AZ. NPS staff will make a short presentation at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. You may provide written comments in person at the Open House. Additional open houses are planned in Blanding, Escalante, Kanab and Salt Lake City, UT. See the Plan/DEIS website http://parkplanning.nps.gov/