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A finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been signed by Christine S. Lehnertz, Regional Director for the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service for the implementation of the Devils Hole Long Term Ecosystem Monitoring Plan (LTEMP) for Death Valley National Park.
The purpose of this project is to increase the scientific rigor of ecosystem stewardship strategies and recovery recommendations for the Devils Hole pupfish through the accurate collection of pertinent data. This action establishes goals and objectives for the long-term monitoring of Devils Hole and consists of a series of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that define how each abiotic and biotic parameter is collected and or sampled.
In September 2010 the National Park Service (NPS) prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to implement the LTEMP. This EA, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, analyzed the impacts that will likely result from implementation of the project. Two alternatives for addressing the purpose and need for action were evaluated in the EA. This included a no action alternative. The EA was available for a 30-day public comment period. Public comments that were received were used in preparation of the FONSI.
Actions under the preferred alternative include the following additions to current monitoring at Devils Hole: collecting water samples for nutrient analyses, sampling of sediment for small invertebrates and protozoa, sampling water for phyto-and zooplankton, and collecting terrestrial plant and animal matter entering Devils Hole.
All those that commented on the September 2010 EA will be receiving a printed copy of the FONSI. Those interested in viewing the FONSI may do so on the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/deva).
For questions and additional information about this project please contact Kevin Wilson, Project Manager at (775) 537-0787 Ext. 207.