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Contact: Darlene M. Koontz, (530) 595-4444, ext. 5101
Lassen Volcanic National Park announced the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Warner Valley Comprehensive Site Plan (FEIS) this week.
Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz stated “I am pleased to announce the release of this document, which is the result of many years of collaboration between park staff, researchers, and the public.” Koontz added “I greatly appreciate the input we received during the development of the plan from individuals and groups who have a deep commitment to this beautiful and historically significant area."
The Park developed the Warner Valley Comprehensive Site Plan in response to the numerous management needs identified within the Warner Valley area, including the restoration of the valley’s unusual fen and wetland complex, and protection and maintenance of archaeological and cultural sites, such as the historic Drakesbad Guest Ranch. “The plan also focuses on improving hiking paths and trails, and expanding interpretive offerings,” noted Koontz “as well as addressing potential safety issues that may arise from inadequate parking pullouts and foot traffic along the Warner Valley road.”
The document can be viewed and/or downloaded from the park’s website at (http://www.nps.gov /lavo/parkmgmt/index.htm) and at the NPS Planning, Environmental and Public Comment web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/lavo. In addition, printed copies of the FEIS are available for review at the Park Headquarters Administration Building, located in Mineral, California, and the following public libraries: Plumas County Library, Susanville District Library, Chester Library, Tehama County Library, Shingletown Library, Shasta County Library (Burney Branch), Chico Public Library, and the Redding Public Library.
Alternative 2 has been identified as the agency-preferred and environmentally-preferred alternative in the FEIS. This alternative includes the following components: 1) ecological restoration of wetlands throughout Warner Valley, which includes permanently filling ditches within Drakesbad Meadow; 2) creation of a concession service center and housing area comprised of tent cabins surrounding a single-story bathhouse building located outside of the Drakesbad Guest Ranch Historic District; and, 3) removal of the Dream Lake Dam and the subsequent reversion of the area to a riparian/wetland complex.
Two alternatives were analyzed in the FEIS in addition to Alternative 2: Alternative 1, the No Action Alternative, would continue current management practices; and, Alternative 3, which includes: 1) restoration of Warner Valley fen, through the installation of metal sheets to dam ditches within Drakesbad Meadow; 2) creation of a concession service center and housing area comprised of a two-story dormitory building with bathrooms located outside of the Drakesbad Guest Ranch Historic District; and, 3) reconstruction of the Dream Lake Dam to Bureau of Reclamation engineering standards.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement was published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2010, which also marks the beginning of a minimum 30 day waiting period. After the end of the waiting period, a Record of Decision will be prepared by the Park and forwarded to the Regional Director, National Park Service Pacific West Region, as the official responsible for the approval of the Comprehensive Site Plan. After approval, the Superintendent of Lassen Volcanic National Park would be the official responsible for plan implementation.
The FEIS will be sent to affected Federal, Tribal, State, and local government agencies and other interested parties. For more information about the FEIS, or to request a CD or printed copy of the document, please contact the Superintendent’s office at Lassen Volcanic National Park, PO Box 100, Mineral, CA. 96063-0100 or by phone at (530) 595-4444, extension 5101.