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Contact: Kate Cannon, 435-719-2101
Moab, UT – The National Park Service (NPS) is currently reviewing comments received on the Traffic Congestion Management Plan (TCMP) Environmental Assessment (EA) for Arches National Park. During the public comment period, November 1–December 18, 2017, the NPS received 421 comments from people across the country and around the world. Forty-six people also attended a public meeting in Moab, Utah, on November 16, 2017.
During the public review period, the NPS received a number of substantive comments questioning the analysis of impacts on the local economy. In response to these comments, NPS has engaged an outside expert to evaluate potential economic impacts associated with the proposed reservation system. The evaluation will be conducted by Chip Paterson, a principal with Industrial Economics, Inc. (IEc). IEc is an economics and public policy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Paterson's work focuses on the economics of natural resource management, including changes in the quality and availability of recreational opportunities. IEc’s evaluation will be based on existing information. As a first step, Paterson will be visiting Moab in mid- to late-March to conduct targeted discussions with stakeholders and to inventory data/information sources that may be relevant to the analysis.
A final report of the economic analysis performed by Industrial Economics, Inc. (IEc) will be available to the public in the summer of 2018. The NPS will incorporate the findings of the economic analysis into a revised final EA, which will also be available for public review.
The Traffic Congestion Management Plan (TCMP) is being developed to address vehicle traffic and parking congestion problems that affect visitor access, visitor enjoyment, and resource conditions. The TCMP proposes a reservation system for entrance during high-visitation season and peak-visitation hours. Arches National Park staff would like to thank the public for their continued involvement in the traffic congestion management planning process.