November 11, 2014
Sabrina Henry, 435-719-2100
The National Park Service (NPS) has announced a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch Site Plan in Arches National Park was signed by the Intermountain Regional Director on November 3, 2014. This decision was reached after reviewing the environmental impacts analyzed and considering public comments on the Environmental Assessment released in August.
The National Park Service will implement congestion-management strategies to more efficiently manage visitor use in the Delicate Arch/ Wolfe Ranch parking area. Strategies to be implemented include expanding the existing parking lot at the Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch trailhead to include 82 more spaces, eliminating roadside parking, constructing a sidewalk along the road, and rechanneling Winter Camp Wash to reduce the frequency of road closures due to flooding and sediment deposition. If these strategies fail to keep pace with increasing visitation, the park may explore a reservation system to the Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch site, or to the park overall, in order to manage visitation. Implementation of a reservation system will only occur as a separate future planning effort, one in which the NPS will engage with partners, agencies, and the public in determining the best way to design and implement such a system.
Park officials anticipate the trailhead parking area will remain open to the public during this project with limited parking. The first phase of the project is scheduled to begin in the winter/spring of 2015 and is expected to take two months for the dirt work to be completed. In early summer, the expanded parking lot will be paved and striped. Once the parking lot has been expanded roadside parking will no longer be allowed. The additional congestion-management strategies will be implemented as funding becomes available. The signed Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch FONSI may be viewed online here.