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Contact: Amy Bracewell, 605-574-3114
(Keystone, S.D.) Mount Rushmore National Memorial welcomes the public to attend two open houses to review the Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared on a proposed backcountry hiking trail at the park. The EA has been reviewed by the National Park Service’s Midwest Regional Office and is available for comment.
Presentations about the proposed hiking trail and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and repeated again from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Friday, February 6, 2009 at the Radisson Hotel, 445 Mount Rushmore Road, Rapid City in the Sheridan/Deerfield room.
An electronic copy of the EA is available for review online on the National Park Service’s Park Planning website. The website, https://parkplanning.nps.gov, contains information on the EA and provides an avenue for public comment on the project. To make a comment online, please go to the planning website, search by park name “Mount Rushmore NMem” and click on the project title “Yellow Wolf Trail.” Comments can be made by clicking on “Open for Public Comment” and then following the prompts. The website is available for public comment until February 15, 2009. Copies of the EA are also available for viewing at the Mount Rushmore Information Center, the Rapid City Public Library and the Keystone Public Library until February 15, 2009.
The National Park Service (NPS) and Mount Rushmore are proposing to construct and operate a backcountry trail system to assist in meeting the NPS Centennial Initiative that celebrates 100 years of national parks in 2016. With this trail, Mount Rushmore seeks to become a center of excellence for sharing the story of America, for providing visitor opportunities and for protecting resources and people.
The Environmental Assessment is being prepared to examine the affected environment in the memorial and to study a range of alternatives and the impacts. The range of alternatives includes:
• No Action
• Single Loop Trail
• Multi-Loop Trail
The multi-loop trail is the preferred alternative, meeting the goals and objectives of the memorial. The multi-loop trail would be 9.8 miles in length, comprised of connector trails, 5 smaller loops of varying difficulty and have 5 scenic vistas. The preferred alternative would be built in five phases. Many federal, tribal, state and local agencies, as well as other private partners, would be consulted in the development, construction and operation of the trail system.
Comments on the EA may be mailed to:
Superintendent Gerard Baker
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
13000 Highway 244
Building 31, Suite 1
Keystone, SD 57751
For more information, please contact Mount Rushmore National Memorial at (605) 574-3114.