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Contact: Daniel Hollifield, (210) 825-0967
The National Park Service (NPS) has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to complete the Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzed a proposal to rehabilitate the cultural landscape and further develop visitor services at the Rancho de las Cabras, a unit of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park near Floresville, Texas. The EA and FONSI were 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 objectives of the proposal, 2) evaluates potential issues and impacts to the Rancho's resources and values, and 3) identifies mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of these impacts.
The EA analyzed two alternatives and the no-action alternative. The action alternatives were identified based on program goals and objectives, internal and external scoping, guidance from existing park plans, and policy guidance from the NPS. Each action alternative involved modifying the cultural landscape to better reflect the mission period; creating more visitor services such as trails and a contact station; and improving parking and access. The moderate and maximum alternatives represented a progression in the size and scope of the modifications and improvements that would be made. The alternative that was preferred and selected was the maximum amount of proposed improvements. The EA and FONSI determined that this alternative will not have a significant effect on the human or natural environment.
The planned improvements are an all-weather entrance road and parking lot; an enclosed visitor contact station with a sitting area, restroom, office, interpretative panels, and possibly an auditorium and outdoor educational area; a pedestrian trail network; and a vegetation rehabilitation and management program in the area surrounding the visitor contact station and Rancho compound ruins that would restore the landscape to approximate its 18th century appearance.
"We are very excited to be moving towards our vision for developing this site for greater public use and to showcase the important natural and cultural resources that are there. While we do not anticipate funding for large-scale implementation in the near future, the completion of this EA is an important step to ultimately achieving our goals." said San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Superintendent Mardi Arce.
The FONSI is available for public viewing online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/rancho_ea
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park was established in 1978 to preserve, restore, and interpret the Spanish colonial missions of San Antonio, which represent the largest concentration of cultural resources from the Spanish colonial period in the United States. For more information about the National Park Service and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park please visit www.nps.gov/saan. For more information about the park's friends group, Los Compadres de San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, visit www.loscompadres.org.