April 9, 2016
The National Park Service is beginning the process of developing a Trail Master Plan/Environmental Assessment (EA) for Pea Ridge National Military Park. The objectives of the Trail Master Plan/EA are to develop a trail network that enhances the visitor experience, incorporates internal wayfinding, and improves interpretation opportunities while protecting the natural and cultural landscapes. The alternatives identified in the Trail Master Plan/EA will improve connections between trails within the park, accommodate different trail users, and reduce maintenance by using historic roads and minimizing the park's infrastructure. The project will also determine feasible options for connecting the park with the regional trail network identified in the Northwest Arkansas Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan http://www.nwabikepedplan.com and other proposed trail routes to connect with adjacent communities.
The project is needed due to increased visitor use that is placing added demands on the park's trail network as well as projected area growth that is anticipated to further increase park visitation. The Trail Master Plan/EA will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to provide the decision-making framework that 1) analyzes a reasonable range of alternatives to meet project objectives, 2) evaluates issues and impacts on park resources and values, and 3) identifies mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of these impacts. Also, in accordance with the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (54 U.S.C. 306108) and its implementing regulations (36 C.F.R. Part 800), the NPS will consider the effects of this undertaking on historic resources.
The park encourages public participation throughout the planning process. There will be at least two opportunities to comment formally on the project –once during initial project scoping and again following release of the EA. The National Park Service is currently in the scoping phase of the proposed project and invites the public to submit written suggestions, comments, and concerns regarding the development of a trail master plan. The NPS will hold a public open house to provide the opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the proposal. The open house will be held on April 22, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the park Visitor Center located at 15930 U.S. Hwy 62 East, Garfield Arkansas. The National Park Service will also be accepting comments at the open house. In addition, we invite you to participate by going to our Planning, Environment and Public Comment website located at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/peri. The opportunity to provide public comment to support the development of this plan is currently EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. open and will close May 10, 2016. More information about the park can be found at https://www.nps.gov/peri/index.htm. Commenters should be aware that their entire comment –including personal identifying information may be made publically available at any time. While commenters can ask that their personal identifying information be withheld from public review, the National Park Service cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
Pea Ridge National Military Park, established in 1956, preserves and commemorates the site of the March 1862 Civil War battle that helped Union forces maintain physical and political control of the state of Missouri. Administered by the National Park Service, the 4,300-acre battlefield is located 10 miles north of Rogers, just off of US Highway 62.