Air Tour Management Plan for Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore
*The public comment period is now closed. Public comments were accepted through October 21, 2011. For more information about the Air Tour Management Plan, visit the National Park Service's Planning, Environment, & Public Comment website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/BayArea_ATMP.*
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in cooperation with the Nationial Park Service (NPS), has initiated development of an Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) for Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and Point Reyes National Seashore (the Seashore). The ATMP for GGNRA will include Muir Woods National Monument and Fort Point National Historic Site, both directly managed by GGNRA, and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (SF Maritime NHP).
The National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000 (NPATMA) and its implementing regulations require the FAA and NPS to develop an ATMP for each unit of the national park system or tribal land that does not have a plan in effect at the time an operator applies for FAA authority to conduct commercial air tours. The objective of an ATMP shall be to develop acceptable and effective measures to mitigate or prevent significant adverse impacts, if any, of commercial air tour operations upon the natural and cultural resources, visitor experiences and tribal lands within or abutting GGNRA and the Seashore.
Several steps are required for the development and implementation of an ATMP. First, as required by National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the FAA and NPS will prepare one or more environmental assessments (EAs) for public review addressing potential environmental impacts of alternative ATMP strategies for GGNRA, SF Maritime NHP, and the Seashore. If no significant environmental impacts are identified, the FAA in cooperation with the NPS will prepare a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Record of Decision (ROD). Based on the preferred alternative, the agencies will develop an ATMP for GGNRA and SF Maritime NHP, and a separate ATMP for the Seashore, which will identify specific measures and conditions applying to air tour operations for GGNRA and SF Maritime NHP, and the Seashore, respectively. The last step in the process is FAA rulemaking, to establish enforceable rules for implementing the ATMPs.
The FAA and NPS are inviting the public, agencies, tribes, and other interested parties to provide comments, suggestions, and input on the scope of issues and range of alternatives to be addressed in the environmental process.
MEETINGS: The FAA and NPS hosted public scoping meetings to inform the public and other interested parties about the ATMP program and to provide the opportunity for comments. The meetings were held at the following location, dates, and times:
Tuesday, August 16, 2011: 4:30-6:30 PM
Wednesday, August 17, 2011: 4:30-6:30 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Written comments on the scope of the EA should be submitted electronically via the electronic public comment form on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/BayArea_ATMP, provided in writing at one of the public meetings/open houses, or sent to the mailing address above for Keith Lusk.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A public scoping packet that describes the project in greater detail is available at:
Download the Air Tour Management Plan mailer/brochure that was released on July 28, 2011 (259 KB PDF)
Scoping comments were accepted until October 21, 2011.
Did You Know?
Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are present in the waters of Point Reyes year round. Every spring, approximately 7,000 harbor seals, or 20% of the mainland California breeding population, haul out on the beaches of Point Reyes. Look for them in the esteros and in Tomales Bay and Bolinas Lagoon. More...