Curry Village EA - purpose and need
The National Park Service is developing an environmental assessment to address the structures in the Curry Village rockfall hazard zone. The purpose of this project is to:
- Mitigate inherent safety risks associated with unauthorized visitor access to the closed rockfall hazard zone.
- Minimize the potential for further loss of historically significant structures and/or features that contribute to the Curry Village Historic District.
- Identify appropriate mitigation to resolve the potential adverse effect on the Curry Village Historic District.
Park management has closed all of the structures within the updated rockfall hazard zone to reduce health and safety hazards. As a result, the disposition of the structures within the rockfall hazard zone must be addressed because:
- The closed structures create a nuisance that attracts curious on-lookers.
- Some visitors have circumvented the temporary hazard fencing and entered the rockfall hazard zone and abandoned structures, causing the potential for vandalism and creating an illicit use of the abandoned structures.
- Wildlife use the buildings for nesting or foraging in and beneath the buildings, which could cause further structural damage.
- The historic structures will continue to deteriorate and could be further damaged if not stabilized and maintained, or removed.
Relationship to Merced River Plan
Although the greater Curry Village area will be addressed as part of the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan currently under development, the hazards associated with the existing structures in the rockfall hazard zone need to be addressed in the near term. The actions taken under this project will not influence decisions to be made about user capacity and protection of the river’s outstandingly remarkable values in the Merced River planning process. However, if alternatives or ideas arise that are beyond the scope of this project, they could be used to inform the Merced River plan.