January 21, 2010
Yosemite National Park announces the availability of the Yosemite Environmental Education Center Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for public review. The Yosemite Institute (YI), a nonprofit partner organization, has provided environmental education programs for children in Yosemite National Park since 1971. YI provides multi-day experiential programs in the park under a cooperative agreement.
The FEIS fulfills the environmental analysis and public review requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106. In 2002, Yosemite National Park conducted public scoping to solicit ideas and identify issues and concerns. Public, tribal, and agency participation has continued to provide vital contributions and feedback as this project has evolved. In May 2009, a draft EIS was released for a 60-day public review period, and the park received 47 public comment letters.
Comments and concerns received from the public, tribes, and other agencies have contributed to the development and refinement of a range of alternatives presented in this document. The FEIS describes two action alternatives as well as a no action alternative (maintain current management and operations) and presents an analysis of the potential impacts of each. Alternative 2 would be redevelopment of the Crane Flat campus. Alternative 3 is the preferred action alternative; it is development of a new center at Henness Ridge, with restoration of the Crane Flat campus site to provide habitat for sensitive species; a new potable water system at Chinquapin; and restoration of the historic old Glacier Point Road to a trail (a 64- acre Wilderness conversion). Public comments received on the draft EIS have been fully considered in the preparation of this final document. Information about this project can be reviewed online at www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/eecampus.htm. Following a 30-day no-action period, the NPS will document a final decision in a Record of Decision, which will be published in the Federal Register.