Research papers, documents, supporting legislation and other materials are reviewed throughout the planning process to help inform the shape a plan will take. Some of the documents utilized throughout the planning process in Yosemite is:
- A Sense of Place: Design Guidelines for Yosemite Valley[32 MB PDF] 2005
The following is a list of the various stages that occur during a planning process. Though there are added public involvement opportunities such as meetings and workshops throughout, this outlines the major steps. They include:
- Initial Public Outreach (Internal Scoping)
- Conduct Technical Study and Information Gathering (Technical Study/Report)
- Formal Public Comment (Public Scoping)
- Plan Development (Alternatives Development)
- Public Review & Comment on Draft Plan/Project and Environmental Compliance Document(s) (EA or EIS)
- Produce Final Plan/Project
- Implementation of Plan/Project
Initiation of public outreach and internal scoping are early steps in the planning process to get general ideas and concepts out on the table for discussion. Initiation of public outreach and internal scoping are early steps in the planning process to get general ideas and concepts out on the table for discussion.
Internal scoping is an opportunity for National Park Service (NPS) staff to comment on the particular project or planning effort and to decide what should be analyzed for the necessary environmental National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document, whether it is a Categorical Exclusion (CE), Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
A great deal of information gathering as well as identification of information and data that still need to be collected is done during this step. This includes site visit planning and design work as well as any scientific studies and research necessary to inform the plan or project. Discussing the plan with other agencies or key players in the decision making process, also begins in this stage of the planning process.
In this step, the public and other agencies are formally invited to submit comments related to the plan/project. This is a great opportunity to get your ideas and voices heard during the planning process. The comment period often includes open houses and workshops as well as opportunities to submit comments in writing. Check out the get involved page to learn about comment period opportunities.
Information gathered following the comment processes, information gathering and research conducting periods help to inform the spectrum of alternatives and in turn the actual plan/project. The Public Comment and Response Report as well as the environmental document become publicly available at this step in the process.Public Review and Comment on Draft Plan/Project and Environmental Compliance Documents
Once again public review and comment are encouraged after the completion and publication of the environmental documents, either the EA or EIS. It is then available for public review following its publication and completion. Based on comments received during the document review, park managers and compliance employees will determine the need for re-assessment on specifics, alternatives, or other actions.Produce Final Plan/Project
A finalized planning document is then created and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) package is presented to the park superintendent and regional director for their signatures. This package includes any technical corrections, public comments and responses on the document, and the overall statement of the alternative chosen. Once signed the plan is then finalized.
Once a plan/project has been approved the next step is put it into action. After which the plan/project is considered completed and it is on to the next plan/project.
Check out the progress of Yosemite’s current plans/projects.