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Contact: Eileen Andes, 701-623-4466
Contact: Bill Whitworth, 701-623-4466
MEDORA, ND: The National Park Service (NPS) has identified four potential building site alternatives in an Environmental Assessment for visitor center replacement in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The park abandoned the former visitor center in 2013 because of recurring structural issues. The replacement facility will be the same size as the previous building, but will have only one level. Three of the four sites are in close proximity to the abandoned building location and the fourth site is located 700 feet to the west. The park has not established a preferred alternative.
Federal agencies use Environmental Assessments to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. These documents are valuable planning tools that describe why a project is needed, explore a reasonable range of alternatives, and analyze impacts to park natural and cultural resources and values. Mitigation measures can be employed when unacceptable impacts are determined in the analysis. The public is encouraged to provide input on the project and the four alternative locations evaluated in the document. Tentatively, at least one public meeting will be scheduled for mid-June to allow the public to ask questions of park staff and provide input for the final site selection.
During the summer of 2014, a temporary visitor center was located six miles from the park’s North Unit entrance in the Juniper Campground. The replacement project will take several years to complete and the park is currently installing two trailers at the park’s entrance to provide visitor services and administrative offices. Communication equipment and electricity are being installed and the temporary facility is expected to be operational in July.
"It is important that we hear from the public during the planning process to replace the failed North Unit Visitor Center," said Acting Superintendent Wendy Ross. "The park is an essential recreational component of the greater Watford City, Williston, and Dickinson communities. We look forward to completing a project that will meet the needs of a growing and diverse population."
To view the Environmental Assessment on line, please visit the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/THRO. The website provides links to view the document and attachments prepared for this project. The website also provides instructions on how to submit comments in the public comment database. The public comment period will begin May 18 and end June 19, 2015. If you are unable to view the documents or provide comments on or before June 19 and still desire to do so, please notify the park to request and extension. Comments may be submitted directly on the database website or may be sent via letter to: Superintendent, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, P.O. Box 7, Medora, ND 58645.
For more information about Theodore Roosevelt National Park, please visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/thro.
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