Overview of Alternative D
Modification of Land, Structures, or Other Improvements by the Federal Government Prior to Conveyance or Retention of the Center
The preferred alternative stated above was selected from several possible courses of action outlined in the Draft EIS. Under alternative D, the federal government would manage and bear the costs for modification of all or part of the land, structures, or other improvements prior to conveyance or retention of the Center. Modifications could include removal of all or a portion of the existing structures and associated infrastructure (roads, powerlines, ore bins, etc.) at the Center. Modifications could also include construction of new structures, or rehabilitation of existing buildings, or both.
Following completion of the modification noted above, Alternative D has several variations which could be selected as a course of action.
The variations include:
-Disposing of the property through transfer to a university or nonfederal government entity without restrictions (similar to alternative B),
-Transfer to a university or nonfederal government entity with restrictions (similar to alternative C), or
-Retention by the federal government. If the property is retained by the federal government, management responsibility could be assigned to a variety of federal agencies. This includes assigning the property to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be held in trust for an American Indian tribe.
Alternatives B, C, and D were further refined in the Draft EIS to describe future uses for the property through the application of three conceptual land-use scenarios.
Conceptual Land Use Scenarios
The three conceptual land-use scenarios reflect potential uses of the Center suggested by the public in comments during the EIS scoping process The conceptual land use scenarios were developed to address a range of potential development options that may be feasible under alternatives B, C, and D. The environmental impacts of alternatives B, C, and D depend on how a future owner would use the Center, and on the activities associated with that use.
Open Space/Park Land
Under this conceptual scenario, the Center would be converted to open space and natural areas where the focus would be on restoration and use of the natural environment. The Center property would become a park or be used as open space. This could be accomplished by removing some or all buildings, structures, and roadways. Nonnative plant species could be identified and removed. Native vegetation could then be planted and the site naturalized to recreate the historic characteristics of an open oak savanna, prairie-type setting.
Under this conceptual scenario, some portion of the Center would represent a natural environment, while development and structures would be used in conjunction with the natural environment for learning and interpretation. New structures could be built at the Center, and all or a portion of the existing structures could be demolished. New construction would be limited by the Minnesota Critical Areas legislation, airport zoning restrictions, Minnesota S.F. 2049 (Camp Coldwater Spring groundwater protection legislation), and other applicable federal, state, and local regulations. Most of the existing buildings at the Center have the potential for reuse; however, some are in better condition and more readily lend themselves to reuse. Most of the infrastructure is not reusable in the current form; improvements may be required if reuse is desired.
Training Center/Office Park
Under this conceptual scenario, the focus of the Center would be the built environment and active reuse of the Center. Under this scenario uses would include total reuse of existing structures, reuse of as few as one building, and all new construction. Most of the existing buildings at the Center have the potential for reuse; however, some are in better condition and more readily lend themselves to reuse. Most of the infrastructure is not reusable in the current form; improvements would be required. New construction would be limited by the Minnesota Critical Areas legislation, airport zoning restrictions, Minnesota S.F. 2049 (Camp Coldwater Spring groundwater protection legislation), and other applicable federal, state, and local regulations.
A complete description of all alternatives and conceptual land use scenarios are included in the Draft EIS. The selected, preferred alternative to guide disposition of the Bureau of Mines property is Alternative D, open space/park land.