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Lassen Volcanic National Park Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz would like to remind the public that seven days remain to comment on Lassen Peak Trail Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA public review period opened on December 9, 2009 and will close on January 11, 2010.
The EA can be can be viewed or downloaded from the park’s website at, http://www.nps.gov/lavo/parkmgmt/index.htm and comments entered directly on the NPS planning web site, http://parkplanning.nps.gov/lavo. Paper copies of this environmental assessment are also available at park headquarters, the visitor center, and local public libraries.
The Lassen Peak Trail Rehabilitation EA includes three action alternatives and a “No Action” alternative. The park is proposing to rehabilitate the Lassen Peak Trail by rebuilding the entire trail in all action alternatives, but the trail width and the amenities offered along the trail vary among alternatives. Alternatives C and D propose creating 5.5 miles of new trail through wilderness to link the Lassen Peak Trail to the Manzanita Lake area. The following is a brief summary of the alternatives presented in the EA:
· Alternative A - No Action, would continue existing management, including ongoing maintenance and occasional small-scale repair projects along the trail. There would be no new trails or other new amenities.
· Alternative B - Minor Changes, would rehabilitate the entire trail and return the Lassen Peak Trail to its original width. There would be no new trails, interpretive turnouts or restrooms.
· Alternative C - Modest Improvements in Lassen Peak Trail Visitor Experience, is the preferred alternative. The preferred alternative would rehabilitate the entire trail at approximately the current width and would add interpretive turnouts. It would create new trails within the crater, to the true summit and a connector trail to Manzanita Lake. A bathroom would be re-established where there used to be a pit toilet.
Alternative D - Visitor Use Accommodation, would rehabilitate the trail to accommodate more hikers. The trail would become wider, and interpretive turnouts and two restrooms would be added. New formal trails would lead into the crater and to the true summit. A 5.5 mile connector trail to Manzanita Lake would be established.
Under the National Park Service (NPS) Organic Act and General Authorities Act, as amended, the NPS may not allow the impairment of park resources and values except as authorized specifically by Congress (NPS Directors Order 55 or DO-55). Impairment is an impact that, in the professional judgment of the responsible NPS manager, would harm the integrity of park resources or values, including the opportunities that otherwise would be present for the enjoyment of those resources or values. Park managers have examined each potential impact of the all alternatives and determined that the combination of actions provided for in this environmental assessment will not result in the impairment of any park resources and values.
The park is soliciting public input and comments on this important planning document. All comments must be postmarked or transmitted electronically no later than January 11, 2010. Written comments may be submitted by letter to the Superintendent, Lassen Volcanic National Park, P.O. Box 100, Mineral, CA 96063 or transmitted electronically to e-mail us. For more information about this document, contact the park’s planning staff at the above address or call (530) 595-4444, extensions 5176 or 5170. For general park information, please call (530) 595-4480 or visit the park website at www.nps.gov.