The National Park Service has announced that further work on a new General Management Plan (GMP) at Joshua Tree National Park has been discontinued. The park will instead focus its planning efforts on specific issues facing the park. The announcement of the shift in focus for park planning was made today by Superintendent Mark Butler in a letter mailed to citizens and stakeholders who took part in earlier public meetings involved in the GMP process.
Working with planners from the agency's Denver Service Center, the park started revision of its General Management Plan in 2010 through a series of public scoping meetings and open houses held in communities surrounding the park. Many ideas were contributed during those meetings, and these were valuable in helping the Service understand public perceptions, perspectives, and values connected with Joshua Tree National Park. Through these workshops a number of key issues were identified that will serve as the focus of future planning efforts.
These issues are:
◊ urban encroachment, renewable energy development, and other adjacent land uses;
◊ open space and conservation efforts outside the park boundaries and throughout the region;n Wilderness status and conditions;
◊ visitor use issue (e.g., transportation facilities, local community needs, user conflicts, user capacity); and
◊ natural and cultural resource degradation from visitor use.
Public comments received during the GMP scoping process will be considered as the park pursues future targeted planning processes. One product of the GMP effort is the development of a Foundation Plan for the park. This document identifies park purposes, significance, resource values, and interpretive themes. The Foundation Plan also gathered and analyzed public comments received during the GMP scoping process.The Foundation Plan and the summary analysis of the initial public scoping comments can be found on the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website.
Superintendent Butler offered his sincere thanks to all members of the public who took part in the GMP scoping meetings and who offered their comments and suggestions. Joshua Tree National Park looks forward to working with these and other individuals as future park planning efforts are pursued.
For questions about the park planning process and for further information, please contact the park at 760-367-5502. Copies of published park management documents can be found here.