I am pleased to share the news that the decision on the general management plan for the Tule Lake Unit has been finalized. The Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) approving the plan was signed by Stan Austin, Pacific West Regional Director, on May 21, 2018.
The decision and final plan, in the form of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), is available at parkplanning.nps.gov/TuleLakeGMPEA
The plan provides long-term guidance for how the National Park Service will develop and manage the unit, and how the stories of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II will be told at Tule Lake. The plan outlines several actions including:
- Supporting visitor opportunities with an emphasis on technology;
- Providing a year-round NPS presence at the park;
- Providing direction for a range of preservation treatments to historic buildings and the cultural landscape; and
- Fostering a wide variety of partnerships.
The plan does not recommend any boundary adjustments.
Over the past few years, many of you have participated in the planning process through public meetings and writing comments about your vision and ideas for the Tule Lake Unit. I'd like to express my sincere thanks to you for your investment in helping the National Park Service craft this plan for the Tule Lake Unit. The plan includes ideas raised by the public and addresses concerns from important communities associated with Tule Lake, including those who experienced Tule Lake firsthand and local communities.
The approved plan is identified as the "selected alternative" in the FONSI. The FONSI includes a description of the selected alternative, synopses of other alternatives considered, the basis for the decision, and an overview of public involvement in the decision-making process. Attachments to the FONSI include maps, an errata sheet listing the changes and corrections to the general management plan and environmental assessment (GMP/EA) that was released to the public in November 2016, a summary of comments received on the GMP/EA with NPS responses, and a determination of non-impairment. This FONSI and GMP/EA constitute the record of the environmental impact analysis and decision-making process for the general management plan for the Tule Lake Unit.
The completion of the plan is a significant milestone for the Tule Lake Unit. However, it's important for everyone to know that implementing the plan will not happen all at once. It's likely to take many years, as funds and resources become available.
We're looking forward to the work ahead in realizing the plan's vision, together with our partners and local constituents. Thank you again for your interest and participation in this important planning effort for the Tule Lake Unit.
Lawrence J. Whalon Jr.
Tule Lake Unit WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument
Lava Beds National Monument
Questions and Answers about the Tule Lake Unit General Management Plan
Question: What is a general management plan?
Answer: A GMP is a comprehensive management plan that provides a blueprint for park management and development over the next 15-20 years. It addresses resource management, development, visitor use, and boundaries.
The GMP for the Tule Lake Unit outlines preservation treatments to the historic buildings and landscape, a year-round NPS presence and visitor opportunities, an emphasis on technology in communicating the unit's interpretative themes, and supporting a wide variety of partnerships. While NPS was required to consider boundary adjustments as part of preparing the GMP, the plan does not recommend any boundary adjustments.
Question: Why did the NPS complete a GMP for the Tule Lake Unit?
Answer: The Tule Lake Unit is a new unit and needed long-term management guidance to plan the park's future.
Question: What's the difference between the "preferred alternative" and the "selected alternative"?
Answer: The NPS identified the "preferred alternative" in the GMP/EA that was released to the public in November 2016. The"selected alternative" is identified in the FONSI, and is the alternative that has become the plan for the Tule Lake Unit. The "selected alternative" is substantially the same as the "preferred alternative" from the GMP/EA with minor changes. The minor changes are stated in the FONSI. All changes to the GMP/EA document, which are predominantly editorial corrections, are included in the errata sheet attached to the FONSI.
Question: Was the public involved in the planning process?
Answer: The NPS held 27 official public meetings for the GMP/EA planning process, including five in the immediate local area. Eighteen public meetings were held in communities along the West Coast where there are large populations of Japanese Americans associated with the Tule Lake Unit, and who are key stakeholders. Four public meetings were virtual meetings to provide opportunities for individuals to participate in the planning process who couldn't attend a public meeting. Nearly 1,000 people attended the public meetings overall. Additionally, the NPS received written or digital correspondence from 1,097 individuals or entities during the planning process.
Question: What are next steps?
Answer: The NPS will begin implementation of the plan, which will take many years. The plan provides guidance for phases of implementation, and the park will begin with high priority actions in the immediate future. Many of the actions in the plan will require seeking funding and additional compliance.
The NPS will continue to engage the public, stakeholders, and affiliated tribes during implementation of the plan. The NPS will reach out to existing partners and build new partnerships to share in the stewardship of the Tule Lake Unit's future.