We, the NPS, have determined that an EA rather than an EIS is the appropriate level of environmental documentation for the GMP. Preliminary analysis of alternatives showed there was no potential for significant impacts to park resources and values and no concerns or issues were expressed during the public scoping process for the GMP that have the potential for controversial impacts. For these reasons the NPS determined the proposal would not constitute a major federal action requiring an EIS. A notice of intent to prepare the EIS for the GMP was published in the November 26, 2008,Federal Register(Volume 73, Number 229). Publication of the notice was followed with public meetings held in Rapid City, Hot Springs, and Keystone, South Dakota, in December 2008.
We intend to issue an EA that considers the following two alternatives and their related impacts:
No-action alternative:Continue the present management direction as guided by the 1980 GMP.
Preferred alternative:Relocate emergency operations and park maintenance operations to increase safety and operational effectiveness; rehabilitate an existing overflow parking lot as a picnic/day use area; make trail and observation platform improvements consistent with Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards (ABAAS); and redesign concession dining facilities to accommodate growth in visitation. The preferred alternative would result in beneficial changes in the safety, operations, visitor experience, and accessibility within the memorial.
Dated: May 31, 2012.
Michael T. Reynolds,
Regional Director, Midwest Region.