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A proposed Off-road Vehicle Management Plan for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the future of Lake Powell invasive mussel prevention are two planning efforts that will be showcased at five open houses in February. National Park Service staff will be on hand to provide information and gather public comments on these and other current planning topics.
Open houses are scheduled for the following locations and dates:
· Blanding UT: Tuesday, February 4, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Blanding Arts and Events Center, located at 639 West 100 South, Blanding, UT
· Escalante UT: Wednesday, February 5, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center, located at 755 W. Main, Escalante, UT
· Kanab UT: Thursday, February 6, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Kanab Middle School, located at 690 S. Cowboy Way, Kanab, UT
· Page AZ: Tuesday, February 11, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters, located at 691 Scenic View Drive, Page, AZ
· Salt Lake City UT: Thursday, February 13, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Utah Department of Natural Resources, located at 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT
"This is a great opportunity to take part in the management of your public lands. I welcome and encourage everyone to participate in these meetings," said Superintendent Todd Brindle. "We are in the process of making decisions that will have long-term effects on park resources and visitors' experiences. The public's participation will show us where there are concerns and will help us make informed decisions on the best alternatives."
The NPS is preparing these plans through a public process that complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and other applicable laws, regulations, and policies.
Off-road Vehicle (ORV) Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Plan/DEIS)
The Plan/DEIS analyzes a range of actions for managing off-road use of motor vehicles and on-road use of off-highway vehicles and street-legal all-terrain vehicles. The Plan/DEIS assesses the environmental impacts that could result from continuing current management or implementing any of the four action alternatives. The NPS preferred alternative designates a mixture of opportunities for motorized recreation on park roads and designated ORV routes and at remote shoreline areas while prohibiting such uses in areas where resources and values may be at risk. The preferred alternative also includes provisions to improve signs and road/route markings; develop a communication strategy to better educate visitors on regulations and resource concerns; partner with user groups and other stakeholders; monitor use and mitigate any adverse effects to resources; and close and restore routes and areas not designated for off-road use. A permit system would be established for ORV routes and areas to provide for education on applicable regulations, provide for visitor safety, prevent resource damage and recover costs for monitoring, mitigation, education and administration of the permit system. An electronic copy of the Plan/DEIS may be downloaded at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/
Quagga-Zebra Mussel Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (QZMP EA)
As of January 2014, approximately 1,300 adult quagga mussels have been found and removed from Lake Powell. We are finding additional adult mussels as the season progresses.
The Quagga-Zebra Mussel Management Plan (QZMP) is needed to help the NPS decide what tools are appropriate to support the ongoing management of invasive mussels in Glen Canyon now that quagga mussels are present in Lake Powell. The QZMP will consider changes to the existing prevention and monitoring efforts, and would include analysis of potential control, containment, and other park management actions. The plan will also consider options for providing a sustainable funding source.
The NPS has used a variety of tools to support extensive mussel prevention efforts for several years. This has included education efforts, monitoring, and inspection, decontamination, and quarantine of incoming boats as necessary. The NPS is seeking input to help develop the QZMP during the public scoping period from February 3 – March 7, 2014. For more information or to provide comments visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/
Rainbow Bridge Trail Improvement Environmental Assessment (RABR Trail EA)
Last year, Bridge Creek experienced a flood event that washed out a key section of the access trail from the courtesy dock on Lake Powell leading to Rainbow Bridge. A temporary trail has been cleared to restore access to the site, but additional work is needed to provide long-term access that may not require people to travel in the floodplain. Improvements to the trail design and construction are also needed to address high-volume flash flooding and to maintain tribal, visitor, and employee safety while using the trail. The NPS is also considering extending the trail to provide a designated path for visitors to walk around Rainbow Bridge that would connect to the trail approaching Rainbow Bridge from land owned by the Navajo Nation. Redesigning and rebuilding the Rainbow Bridge trail is also needed to accommodate fluctuating lake elevations and associated trail damage. The NPS is seeking input to help develop the RABR Trail EA during the public scoping period from February 3 – March 7, 2014. For more information or to provide comments visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/
Livestock Grazing Monument Management Plan Amendment and Associated Environmental Impact Statement (Livestock Grazing MMPA)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is embarking on a process to amend the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM) Management Plan to provide direction for livestock grazing. As part of the plan amendment process, the GSENM will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). At the end of the process, the BLM will make land-use level decisions associated with livestock grazing and amend the Monument Management Plan. The planning area consists of about 2.1 million acres of land which includes lands in the GSENM and non-monument lands administered by GSENM. The GSENM administers livestock grazing on lands managed by the National Park Service (NPS) within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GCNRA). The NPS Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is cooperating in the preparation of this plan amendment. The NPS will also be making a decision for Glen Canyon lands consistent with the area's enabling legislation (Public Law 92-593). For more information visithttp://blm.gov/pgld.
The NPS will consider input received during the public scoping, review and comment periods for these planning efforts to prepare the final documents. The public may provide written comments in person at the open houses. Comments may also be submitted online using the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system, or mailed or delivered to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, PO Box 1507, 691 Scenic View Drive, Page, AZ 86040-1507.
For additional information contact Teri Tucker, Chief of Planning and Compliance at 928-608-6207.