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Finding of No Significant Impact Signed for the Supai Camp Improvements Environmental Assessment at Grand Canyon National Park

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Date: September 3, 2009
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed today by Michael D. Snyder, Regional Director for the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service, for improvements to Supai Camp at Grand Canyon National Park. These improvements will be funded in part through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

The improvements were proposed because housing conditions at Supai Camp are currently substandard.  Issues include a lack of indoor plumbing, unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions, a shortage of housing opportunities for the Havasupai Tribe at this location, and poor road conditions and configuration. 

For hundreds of years, the Havasupai people have used the area that now constitutes the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.  In the 1930s, the National Park Service (NPS) relocated Havasupai tribal members from Indian Garden and parts of the South Rim to the area now known as Supai Camp.  This Camp was established as a residential area for the Havasupai people to accommodate the tribes’ customary pattern of seasonal living that was common prior to the establishment of Grand Canyon National Park.  

In August 2009 the National Park Service prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Supai Camp Improvements.  This EA, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, analyzed the impacts that will likely result from implementation of the improvement project.  In addition to a no action alternative, one alternative for addressing the purpose and need for action was evaluated in the EA.  The EA was available for a 20-day public comment period.  Public comments that were received were used in preparation of the FONSI.

Actions under the preferred alternative include rehabilitation of the five existing cabins; construction of six new housing units, with up to 14 additional units as funding becomes available; installation of a new sewer line to connect Supai Camp to the park’s wastewater treatment plant; and several other minor site improvements.

The Intermountain Regional Director concluded that implementation of the preferred alternative does not constitute a major federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment and is not an action that normally requires preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS).

A portion of this project will be funded by the ARRA which will invest $750 million in nearly 800 projects throughout the country.  Recovery Act projects were selected through a rigorous process that identified projects meeting specific criteria to address the highest priority mission needs, create the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time, and create lasting value for the American people.  The Supai Camp Improvements project was selected because it will address high priority health and human safety concerns and provide increased employment and education opportunities to Havasupai tribal members.

Those interested in viewing the FONSI may do so on the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grca.  For questions and additional information about this project please contact Rachel Stanton, Project Planning Lead at (928) 774-9612.

-NPS-

 
To download the news release in .pdf format, CLICK HERE.

Did You Know?

SWITCHBACKS ON BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL

Each year, thousands of hikers enter the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. They follow a route established by prehistoric people for two key reasons: water and access. Water emerges from springs at Indian Garden, and a fault creates a break in the cliffs, providing access to the springs.