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Contact: Eileen Andes, 701-623-4466
The National Park Service (NPS) is beginning the process to replace the visitor center in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The current visitor center is now abandoned because of recurring structural issues. The size of the replacement visitor center is unknown at this time, but is not expected to exceed 4,700 square feet, the size of the abandoned one. The replacement visitor center will also house employee office space for the North Unit staff.
Since last summer, buildings normally used for staff housing have been used as a temporary visitor center and for office space. The temporary visitor center is located in the Juniper Campground, six miles from the North Unit’s entrance. It is currently closed for the winter.
“We are moving as quickly as possible on this project so that we can provide better service to our North Unit visitors,” said Superintendent Valerie Naylor. “In the meantime, we will continue to serve visitors with temporary facilities.”
The NPS has begun the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for this project and is in the early stages of preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA). As a part of this effort, the park is requesting public input regarding the proposed project to identify issues of concern, alternative building sites and solutions that could be explored in more detail. The comments and materials offered will be used to determine if the proposed building replacement project may have environmental impacts that merit consideration, and the proposed project is consistent with current and future uses within the project area. Comments will be incorporated into the environmental planning process and EA document as appropriate. The public will be given an opportunity to review the completed EA and provide additional comments regarding this project.
To view details on the park’s proposal, please visit the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/THRO. Once on this website, a document list will be available that provides background information on the proposal and a map showing the approximate locations for three alternative building sites. The public comment period will end March 6, 2014. If you are unable to provide comments on or before March 6th and still desire to do so, please notify the park to request an extension. Comments may be submitted directly on the PEPC website or may be sent via letter to: Superintendent, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, PO Box 7, Medora, ND 58645 or via e-mail to e-mail us.