The National Park Service set out to improve visitor experience, address deferred maintenance, improve safety, and increase operational efficiency at the Big Oak Flat Welcome Center Complex. This park entrance welcomes about one million visitors annually from the park’s western border. The complex (formerly called the Visitor Contact Station) provides a public restroom, information, campground reservations, wilderness permits, bear canister rentals, and retail sales. It also currently serves as the district law enforcement office. The project will improve visitor orientation and safety, reduce lines, and upgrade accessibility and utilities.
The park hosted a public meeting in May 2018 to present the project, answer questions, and solicit feedback from the community. The formal public scoping period closed in June 2018. The project's environmental assessment was available for public review through December 20, 2018 and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed on February 7, 2019.
The park initially proposed constructing a separate facility in the Hodgdon Meadow area to house law enforcement/emergency services. This was ultimately not included in the preferred alternative due to the additional information needed to determine the preferred site and design approach for this facility. The park is now planning this facility as a separate future project.
The environmental assessment presented a preferred alternative that proposed the following actions:
Last updated: November 23, 2019