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Contact: Mark Woods, Superintendent, (606) 248-2817
As Cumberland Gap National Historical Park eagerly looks to its future, public participation and comments are being sought for the park’s draft General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement which will guide park management during the next 15 – 20 years. According to Park Superintendent Mark Woods, general management plans are long-term documents that establish and articulate a management philosophy and framework for decision making and problem solving in the parks. Woods further explains thatCumberland Gap National Historical Park’s last comprehensive management planning effort was completed in 1979. “Since that time, many changes have taken place – patterns and types of visitor use have changed and the park’s primary cultural landscape element has also changed as a result of construction projects involving the twin-bore Cumberland Gap Tunnel system, highway relocations, and the rehabilitation of the Cumberland Gap and Wilderness Road. In addition, acquisition of the Fern Lake watershed requires a defined management approach for resource use and protection. The park faces new resource and other management challenges as a result of these and other changes. We are looking to an exciting future.” Woods further elaborates that “national parks belong to the people. We encourage and welcome public comments!”
A draft version of the General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement is now available for public comment. The Draft General Management Plan/ Environmental Impact Statement examines three alternatives for managing Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The impacts of implementing each of the alternatives are also analyzed. Alternative C, the preferred alternative, provides additional opportunities for access for visitors to enjoy the park’s cultural and natural resources, while increasing and formalizing partnering efforts, and increasing opportunities for educational and interpretiveactivities. The document can be accessed and downloaded from the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/cuga/parkmgmt/planning.htm.
Copies of the document can also be reviewed at park headquarters, the park visitor center or at one of the following libraries:
Middlesboro Public Library
126 S. 20th St. P.O. Box 1677
Middlesboro, KY 40965-3677
Lincoln Memorial University
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752
Pineville Public Library
214 Walnut St.
P.O. Box 1490
Pineville, KY 40977-1490
Harlan Public Library
107 N 3rd St.
Harlan, KY 40831-2335
Claiborne County Public Library
P.O. Box 139
Tazewell, TN 37825
Knoxville City Library
4518 E Emory Rd.
Knoxville, TN 37938
Bristol Virginia Public Library
701 Goode St.
Bristol, VA 24201-4199
How to Comment
All are invited to attend any of the public meetings to be held on December 8 and 9, 2009 at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Visitor Center Auditorium in Middlesboro, Kentucky on the following dates and times:
December 8, 2009, 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
December 9, 2009, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
December 9, 2009, 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
The purpose of the public meetings is to obtain comments on the Draft General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement.