Draft General Management Plan
Contact: Jim LaRock
Superintendent Jim LaRock announced today that the draft General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP) for Pipestone National Monument will be released for public review and input during the week of February 5, 2007. Four public open houses will be held during the week of February 19, 2007, so that members of the public, federal, state, local agencies, tribes and organizations can provide feedback and comments to the planning team.
LaRock commented that “the draft GMP has been carefully developed so that the four alternatives reflect a range of management strategies for the stewardship of the Monument over the next 15 to 20 years. The draft plan identifies the National Park Service preferred alternative so the public will know which alternative we consider the best. We very much need to hear what people have to say about the plan and each of the alternatives for consideration in determining the final plan. The GMP is very important because so many other planning and project documents tier from this plan. The other plans must be consistent with the intent and philosophy of the general management plan.”
The Public Open Houses will be held at the following locations and times:
February 20, Tuesday
February 21, Wednesday
February 22, Thursday
February 23, Friday
The draft GMP will be available for public review for at least 60 days, ending spring 2007. The formal start of the review period will begin when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) files a notice of availability in the Federal Register and runs for 60 days. We expect the notice to be published in February. We will post the formal dates for the review period on the park website when the information becomes available.
Comments may be provided in writing, or via the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) site on the world-wide web (follow instructions and link from the park website at http://www.nps.gov/pipe ). Copies of the plan will be available for review at:
· Pipestone, Minnesota library (Pipestone Area School)
Written comments may also be sent to: Superintendent, Pipestone National Monument, 36 Reservation Avenue, Pipestone, Minnesota 56164-1269. Comments are welcome anytime after distribution of the plan through the end of the formal review period. They will be carefully considered in arriving at the final plan.
The draft GMP has four alternative scenarios. They have been carefully crafted to reflect public input and reflect different approaches for management, operation, and development of the Monument. They are briefly described below. More detailed information is contained in the plan that the planning team used to better understand the Monument’s cultural and natural resources, and in developing the draft alternatives.
The “No Action” Alternative sees the National Monument future as an extension of present management strategies. It is most valuable as a comparison, or baseline, for the three other “action” alternatives. Maintenance, administration, facilities, and visitor use would remain much as they are today under this alternative.
Alternative One envisions reduced development in the heart of the National Monument. The visitor center and parking would be removed. Administration, maintenance, and visitor center facilities would also be removed and relocated off-site. Additionally, the residences and storage building would be removed, as would the picnic area. A 15-acre parcel of land to the northeast would be added to the National Monument and a closer relationship with the Pipestone Wildlife Management Area would be developed. American Indian ceremonial use of the site and quarrying would continue little changed from the present.
Alternative Two would enlarge the National Monument by adding both the 15-acre parcel on the northeast and the Pipestone Wildlife Management Area. Also added would be the Pipestone Indian School Superintendent’s House on the campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. The bridge at Winnewissa Falls would be rebuilt downstream. The focus of the park would be concentrated on the significance of the pipestone quarries, the quarrying process, and its importance in American Indian culture. The visitor center would be rehabilitated to better serve the National Monument visitors and staff. Use of the Sun Dance grounds would be discontinued.
Alternative Three, the National Park Service (NPS) Preferred Alternative would add the 15-acre parcel on the northeast. A closer working relationship with the Pipestone Wildlife Management Area would be developed. The NPS would work with the owners of the Pipestone Indian School Superintendent’s House to assist with preservation and interpretation but would not seek ownership. The bridge at Winnewissa Falls would be rebuilt downstream. The Maintenance operation would be housed off-site. The visitor center would be rehabilitated to better accommodate visitor services and use. American Indian ceremonial and quarry use would continue essentially the same as it is now.