Yosemite National Park Opens Public Scoping for Merced Wild and Scenic River Revised Comprehensive Management Plan and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
The National Park Service announces the opening of the public scoping period for the Merced Wild and Scenic River Revised Comprehensive Management Plan and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). From July 27 to August 27, 2004, the public is invited to submit written ideas and concerns regarding this planning effort.
The specific purpose of the revised plan and SEIS is to address user capacities in the Merced River corridor and properly draw the river boundary in El Portal. The revised plan will also amend the park’s 1980 General Management Plan.
On April 20, 2004, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit directed the National Park Service to prepare a revised comprehensive management plan that adequately addresses user capacities throughout the entire corridor and properly draws the river boundary in El Portal.
The Court’s decision upheld the other elements of the plan, including boundaries for other segments of the river; classifications for all river segments; Outstandingly Remarkable Values; the River Protection Overlay; the Section 7 determination process, and the plan’s management zoning program. As a result, these five elements are not being revisited in the SEIS.
The National Park Service manages 81 miles of the Merced Wild and Scenic River, encompassing both the main stem and the South Fork in Yosemite National Park and the El Portal Administrative Site.
Pursuant to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act requirements, the National Park Service prepared and issued the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan in 2000. The plan provides direction and guidance on how best to manage visitor use, development of lands and facilities, and resource protection within the river corridor. It serves as the template against which future implementation plans and projects in the river corridor must be judged to protect and enhance the values for which the Merced River was designated Wild and Scenic.
During the scoping period, public meetings will be held in Yosemite Valley, Mariposa, and the San Francisco Bay Area. At that time, participants can talk with park staff and submit written ideas and concerns. The dates and specific locations will be announced on the park’s planning web site (www.nps.gov/yose/planning) and in a later news release.
Comments on the scope of this project will also be accepted at the next NPS Open House, to be held August 18 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the East Auditorium, located behind the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center.
Send scoping comments to the park via fax (209/379-1294),(e-mail us), or U.S. Mail (Yosemite National Park Superintendent, P.O. Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389). All comments must be postmarked by closing date.
For information on this and other planning efforts in Yosemite National Park, go to www.nps.gov/yose/planning.