The National Park Service (NPS) is making available for public review an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the rehabilitation of Black Rock Campground for drainage and erosion control. The EA evaluated a no-action alternative, in which the campground would continue to be used in its current condition, and localized flooding issues, degraded campsites, and poor vehicle circulation problems would not be addressed. Also evaluated in the EA is a preferred alternative that includes installation of new drainage channels, road realignment, and reconfiguration of the Black Rock campsite layout with provisions for group sites, walk-in camping, and a horse camp, as well as other infrastructure improvements.
Black Rock Campground is sited on 80 acres in the northwest corner of Joshua Tree National Park about one mile south of the town of Yucca Valley. The existing campground facilities include a visitor center, comfort stations, gravel and asphalt roads, and car and recreational vehicle (RV) campsites.
The large Black Rock Canyon watershed outside of the boundaries of the campground currently conveys storm runoff through portions of the campground in an unpredictable manner, resulting in localized erosion and flooding. The campground, acquired by the Park Service in 1976 from a commercial operator, was not designed to adequately convey drainage away from campground facilities. Campground roads are currently aligned so that storm water runs directly down the roads with the potential for damaging campground facilities, natural resources, and adjacent landowner property. Degraded roads and camping areas also have contributed to increased storm runoff, erosion, and sedimentation.
To address these issues, the park is proposing several changes to the campground including drainage improvements to divert storm water runoff away from campground roads and nearby residential properties into appropriate natural drainage channels. Campground roads would be realigned across the topographic contour to prevent conveyance of storm water runoff and reduce the potential for erosion. The proposed realignment of the campground road network would improve accessibility for vehicles, pedestrians, and horseriders, and it would enhance overall circulation. Improvement of campsite layout with better privacy would also be a component of the proposed rehabilitation work. Because public participation is very important to the success of the project, the NPS encourages your review and comment on the EA.
Downloadable copies of the EA can be found at the NPS Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/jotr/, and at the park website: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/parkmgmt/index.htm.
Printed copies of the EA are available for public review at the following libraries:
- Yucca Valley Public Library, 5709829 Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284
- Twentynine Palms Public Library, 6078 Adobe Road, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
- Palm Desert Public Library, 73-300 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260
You may also obtain a copy of the EA by contacting Joshua Tree National Park at the address below, or by telephone at 760-367-5502.
Comments will be accepted until September 10, 2012. They can be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/jotr. Written comments may be mailed to: Superintendent, Joshua Tree National Park, 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597
Commenters should be aware that their entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While commenters can ask that their personal identifying information be withheld from public review, the NPS cannot guarantee this will be possible.
If you have questions about the project or would like more information, please contact Chief of Maintenance Kirk Diamond at 760-367-5680 or by email. For questions about the Environmental Assessment, you may contact Chief of Resources Management Andrea Compton at 760 367-5560 or by email.