of Study Process (Scoping)
Sometimes this phase of the study process is called “scoping,” because with your input, we are determining the “scope” or overall approach to the study.
Resource Analysis: Significance and Suitability
During this stage of the study process, we evaluate the natural and cultural resources of the study area and determine whether there are resources that are nationally significant and suitable for inclusion in the national park system. We will research and evaluate these resources based on existing data, and will work with scientists, historians, local researchers, community members, and others who know the area’s resources.
In this stage of the study process, we determine what management alternatives might be feasible. National Park Service management can only be included in the alternatives if the NPS considers it to be feasible.
NPS management will be considered feasible only if the area has adequate size and configuration to allow for resource protection and visitor enjoyment, and can be administered at a reasonable cost. Other considerations will include land ownership, access, threats to the resource, staffing and development requirements, and public support.
In a special resource study,
“alternatives” are possible ways of managing resources within the study area.
During this stage of the study process, we will work key stakeholders to develop a range of options to
protect resources and provide for public enjoyment.
Different alternatives might have different goals, or they might be different ways to achieve the same
goals. Alternatives may focus on a part of the study area, or may relate to the entire study area.
5 Analyze Environmental
During this stage, the NPS will analyze the potential for environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the alternatives, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The findings of the special resource study, alternatives, and environmental impact analysis will
be published in a draft study report for public review and comment. The report will comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.
This stage of the study process will extend through June 30, 2015. During this time you can send us your comments (via mail, e-mail, or our Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) web site), or attend any of the public meetings that we will be holding.
Final Report / Transmittal to Congress
During this stage of the study process, we will revise the report, as needed. The final step in the special resource study process is transmittal of the final report from the Secretary of the Interior to Congress, along with a recommendation regarding the Secretary’s preferred management option for the area.
Implementation of any of the recommendations in the report is a separate process, whether by private, local, state or federal actions, or some combination.