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Contact: Paul Henderson, (435) 719-2140
Canyonlands National Park is soliciting public comments for the repair and expansion of the Island in the Sky visitor center. The Island in the Sky District receives over a quarter-million visitors per year and the visitor center is the sole public-contact facility in the district. The current structure, a double wide trailer was installed in the 1980s as a temporary building when visitation to the district was less than a third of what it is today. This has led to frequent crowding and the inability to accommodate even moderate sized groups.
The project will add an additional 2000 sq. ft. and remodel the existing facility. The completed facility will more than double the available visitor space, including: enlarging the auditorium and exhibit areas, increasing space for the cooperating association bookstore and providing larger and more efficient areas for providing visitor information and issuing backcountry permits. It will also address standard accessibility issues and safety code issues.
No closures are anticipated and the facility will maintain its current operational hours. The only anticipated public impact will be during the construction period, scheduled to begin in late fall, with minor additional noise, dust and possible minor inconveniences.
"We're asking for suggestions from the public about options for the visitor center as well as issues to be addressed," commented Kate Cannon, Superintendent of the park.
The park will be developing an environmental assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The planning process will consider and assess the impacts of expanding the visitor center
The scoping phase of the process will continue until July 20, 2007. After that an environmental assessment will be developed, which will be available for public review and comment.
Scoping comments may be submitted over the internet at http://parkplanning.nps.gov or by mail to Superintendent, Canyonlands National Park, 2282 S.W. Resource Blvd, Moab, UT 84532.