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Contact: Emily Davis, 928-638-7609
Contact: Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz.–The National Park Service (NPS) announced today another opportunity for the public to weigh in on revisions to Grand Canyon National Park's Backcountry Management Plan (BMP). The NPS began developing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for this plan in 2011 in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). More than 580 public comments were submitted during the initial phases of the development of this DEIS. The DEIS was released on November 24, 2015 and two public open houses were held in December.
The purpose of the BMP is to establish an up-to-date plan that addresses contemporary backcountry issues and provides an adaptable framework and continues to allow the public to experience and preserve Grand Canyon's unique backcountry and wilderness. Grand Canyon's existing BMP was completed in 1988 and requires revisions to comply with current NPS laws and policies and the park's 1995 General Management Plan. The park's backcountry encompasses over 1.1 million acres, most of which are proposed for wilderness designation.
Public participation is an integral part of this planning process and will help ensure the plan's success. To facilitate public participation, the NPS will host a webinar and a public open house in Phoenix, AZ. Both meetings will start with a presentation. The webinar will include a question and answer session. Park staff and managers will be at the public open house to engage with attendees.
To participate in the webinar:
February 8, 2016
Time: 4 pm to 5 pm Mountain Standard Time
Live Meeting Participation: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/
Audio: 800-779-4694 passcode: 3135573
Links to participate in the webinar will also be posted on the PEPC website.
To attend the in-person public open house in Phoenix:
February 10, 2016
Time: 4 pm to 7 pm
Location: Embassy Suites Hotel, 2577 West Greenway Road, Phoenix AZ
All interested parties may submit comments in person at the open house meeting;on the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website; or via the US Postal Service.
The PEPC database is the preferred method for submitting comments and can be accessed at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/grca. Click on the "Backcountry Management Plan" or "Open for Comments" tab on the left-hand side of the toolbar and then select the EIS link.
Comments can also be mailed to: Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, Attn: Backcountry Management Plan, PO Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023.
More information about the Backcountry Management Plan, DEIS, and public scoping will be posted on the PEPC site as it becomes available.
Available for review and comment, the BMP DEIS evaluates four alternatives–a no-action alternative and three action alternatives. The comment period for the DEIS will closeMarch 4, 2016.