Environmental Assessment Available for White Oak Road
Contact: Nancy Gray, (865) 436-1208
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced the release of the White Oak Road Environmental Assessment. The assessment analyzes a proposal to issue a right-of-way (ROW) permit to North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT) to allow widening of White Oak Road (State Rd. 1338) in Haywood County, NC, where the road crosses National Park Service property near I-40 at the Fines Creek exit. Park managers are inviting written or electronic public comments on the Park's proposed actions during a 30 day review process. Comments are due by March 19, 2010.
The document analyzes two alternatives and summarizes impact topics and potential environmental consequences associated with implementation of the alternatives: Alternative A is the No Action Alternative where there would be no changes made to the narrow, unpaved road corridor. The No Action alternative is presented as a requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act, (NEPA) and is the baseline condition with which proposed activities are compared. Alternative B is the Build Alternative and is the Environmentally Preferred and Preferred Alternative. NPS will work with NC DOT on several elements of the project to ensure no long-term adverse impacts on the environment.
The Environmental Assessment has been posted and is available for public review on the NPS' Planning web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grsm, "White Oak Road EA" link. The public can provide comments directly on the project site by the March 19 deadline. Before including address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in the comment, be aware that the entire comment - including personal identifying information - may be made publicly available at any time.
Did You Know?
An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...