This Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/EIR) evaluates four alternatives for restoring wetlands and wetland functionality and incorporating public access opportunities that do not impact wetland function, as well as the No Action Alternative (e.g., closure of the dairy and discontinuation of intensive agricultural management). The primary purpose and objectives of the proposed project include: restoring hydrologic and ecological processes and functions in a significant portion of the Project Area; emphasizing actions that would benefit the health of the entire Tomales Bay watershed and not just the Project Area; and incorporating opportunities for experiencing and enjoying the restored wetlands that do not conflict with the project's purpose.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) was circulated for public review and comment for approximately 60 days, with the public comment period ending February 14, 2007. Responses to comments submitted to the National Park Service and California State Lands Commission (CSLC) by agencies, organizations, and individuals during the public comment period are included in Chapter 5. Where necessary, additional information has been added to Chapters 2 (Alternatives), 3 (Affected Environment) and 4 (Environmental Consequences and Mitigation Measures) of the FEIS/EIR to improve description of alternatives and analyses of potential impacts and address specific public comments.
Principal differences between the draft and final EIS/EIR include change in the preferred alternative, slight modification to Alternative D, and slight changes to impact determination. Based on agency and public comment, the Park Service decided to select Alternative D rather than Alternative C as the lead agencies' preferred alternative in the FEIS/EIR. Alternative D is the lead agencies' preferred alternative, because it best meets the purpose of restoring wetlands while also meeting the agencies' objective of providing public access opportunities that allow visitors and residents to experience and enjoy the restored wetland. Alternative D is also the environmentally preferred alternative, because it provides the most restoration. Alternative D has been slightly modified to improve restoration potential and access opportunities, without causing more than a negligible change in the level of impacts.
During the comment period, it became clear that certain elements of the southern perimeter trail require further planning and analysis, and was therefore considered "not ripe for decision" by National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) standards. While Alternative D does not include a non-vehicular bridge across Lagunitas Creek, as was proposed under Alternative C, the Park Service would commit to working in the future with the County of Marin and other agencies on development of additional access facilities on the southern perimeter, including a potential trail along Levee Road and Green Bridge, extension of a trail to Inverness Park, and/or construction of a non-vehicular bridge across Lagunitas Creek at the site of the old summer dam through a separate planning process. Alternative D also includes addition of an Americans with Disabilities Act ADA-compliant access to be provided at the White House Pool County Park.
We encourage you to view the plan digitally. If you wish to obtain a CD or hardcopy version of the document, you may email the park (in subject line type: Giacomini Wetlands Restoration Plan) and a copy will be mailed to you.
On June 13, 2007, Superintendent Don Neubacher issued a letter (42 KB PDF) notifying interested parties that this FEIS/EIR was available for review. On June 28, 2007, the California State Lands Commission approved the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project Final EIR for certification. The Environmental Protection Agency published a notice of filing (52 KB PDF) of the FEIS/EIR in the Federal Register on June 29, 2007. Full text of the Notice of Availability (67 KB PDF)was published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2007. The 30-day waiting period closed July 30, 2007. On August 16, 2007, the Park Service's Pacific West Regional Director, Jon Jarvis, signed the Record of Decision (ROD) (133 KB PDF) , which will be published in the Federal Register.
In the interim, the Park Service is moving ahead with planning for implementation of Phase I of the restoration project. At this time, the Park Service anticipates construction starting in mid-September, but the ultimate start-date is dependent on many factors, including permitting, construction contracting, and other logistical issues.
Several weeks prior to implementation, the Park Service and its partner, Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA), will contact people on the mailing list with more detailed information regarding construction for the coming year. A press release will also be issued to local media outlets. The Park Service will work with the Construction Manager of Winzler & Kelly Consulting to provide and regularly update a construction schedule on the Seashore's web page, as well as to notify the public of the timing for the anticipated temporary closure of the trail on the Giacomini Ranch East Pasture south levee. In addition, the public will be provided with a phone number for contacting the Construction Manager or the Park Service in case of concerns, issues, or questions.