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Contact: Rick Kendall, (603) 675-2175
The National Park Service has issued a decision regarding the future of the Blow-Me-Down Farm at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, concluding the park's environmental assessment (EA) planning process. The decision document, known as a Finding of No Significant Impact, or "FONSI," describes the alternatives considered, the alternative selected for implementation, and the rationale used to make the selection. The FONSI also describes the mitigation measures that will be taken to ensure the protection of natural and cultural resources and the quality of the visitor experience at the park and responds to substantive comments received from the public during the public comment period.
There are two phases under the selected alternative.Phase 1 occurs within the first seven years following the issuance of this FONSI. During Phase 1, the park will proactively seek grants and cost-share opportunities, strengthening existing partnerships and developing new partnerships for undertaking needed preservation and rehabilitation or restoration of the Farm's historic structures. The park may also pursue leasing or cooperative agreement opportunities that would bring uses to the Farm that directly relate to the park's purpose and significance including: art, history, and natural resource education programs; artist-in-residence programs; museums; or other programs which provide educational opportunities in the fields of art, art history, historic preservation, public lands management, or natural resources.
Phase 2 would begin in the eighth year following implementation of the selected alternative and would continue as the management strategy for the Farm, provided substantial progress towards the goals laid out in Phase 1 is not achieved. The intent of Phase 2 is to increase the likelihood of Saint-Gaudens NHS finding suitable occupants to assist in stabilizing and/or rehabilitating the Farm's structures in the event that the goals of Phase 1 prove untenable. Phase 2 will permit the park to consider leasing options that are not directly related to the park's existing programs but that do not detract from the park's mission.
Blow-Me-Down Farm was acquired by the park via donation from the park's non-profit partner, the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, in 2010.The property consists of 42.6 acres of land and nine historic structures.The property was the historic home of the Charles Beaman family; Beaman was instrumental in enticing sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to move to Cornish in 1885.The presence of Saint-Gaudens in Cornish brought many other artists to the area leading to the development of the Cornish Colony of artists.Blow-Me-Down Farm became one of many social hubs and gathering places for the Colony members.
The FONSI for the environmental assessment for the Blow-Me-Down Farm Site Management Plan will be available for public review at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/saga. A printed copy will also be available for review at the park visitor center.