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CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS AND NEWS RELEASES
SOURCE: Federal Register, May 18, 2004
|UPDATE JUNE 2004
public meetings have now been scheduled for July.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
National Park Service
Draft General Management Plan; Middle and South Forks Kings River Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan; North Fork Kern River Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks; Tulare and Fresno Counties, CA; Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Proposed Plan and Alternatives: The draft EIS/GMP/Comprehensive River Management Plan includes four action alternatives and a no-action alternative which continues current management. The Comprehensive River Management Plan and approved plans would be common to every alternative. The No-Action Alternative (Continue Current Management): The parks are managed as they are now in accordance with approved plans (such as development concept plans, and the 1996 Giant Forest Interim Management Plan); negative resource impacts and visitor demands are responded to by relocating development, reducing some uses, or confining new developed areas. Visitor uses are reassessed and revised as new information about natural and cultural resource impacts and visitor needs emerges. Current facilities are inadequate for park needs and visitor use levels, and crowding is common in some areas. The Preferred Alternative: The parks' appeal is broadened to be more relevant to diverse user groups. Increased day use is accommodated, and overnight visitation is retained. The integrity of park resources is paramount. Stronger educational and outreach programs provide enjoyment and instill park conservation values. The basic character of park activities and the rustic architecture of facilities are retained so that the parks remain strikingly different from surrounding areas. Park administrative facilities are redesigned and may be relocated outside the parks. Park facilities accommodate sustainable growth. Stock use continues with appropriate management and monitoring. Alternative A: Emphasize Natural Ecosystems and Biodiversity; Reduce Use and Development: The parks are natural resource preserves; they are primarily valued because they contain publicly owned resources that will be conserved for the future. Levels of use are lower than at present, and visitor experiences are more directly connected to natural resources and provide more solitude. The parks strongly contrast with surrounding lands that are under increasing pressure for use and development. Park managers aggressively cooperate with the managers of surrounding lands to enhance range-wide biodiversity. Alternative B: Preserve Traditional Character and Retain the Feel of Yesteryear; Guide Growth: The parks present a traditional park character and a feeling of yesteryear, where experiences are more reminiscent of how visitors used the parks in the past. This is conveyed through rustic architecture and lower impact recreational activities (such as sightseeing and hiking) that were popular from the 1920s to the 1960s, and providing an experience that is strikingly different from that in an urban setting. Redesigned developed areas accommodate limited growth; overnight stays are encouraged. Negative impacts on natural resources are controlled, so as to maintain or improve resource conditions. Alternative C: Preserve Basic Character and Adapt to Changing User Groups; Guide Growth: The parks preserve some of their traditional character and rustic architecture, but diverse new user groups and uses are encouraged. Day use is more common. Facilities are expanded to meet users' needs, while frequent interpretive programs are offered to educate, entertain, and instill a sense of park conservation values. Negative impacts on natural resources are controlled or mitigated, so as to maintain or improve resource conditions.
Public Review and Comment:
The draft EIS/GMP is now available for public review.
Requests for the document (by those not presently on the mailing list) should be addressed to: GMP, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 47050 Generals Hwy., Three Rivers, CA 93271-9651, by telephone at (559) 565-3101, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The document may also be reviewed at park area libraries, or obtained electronically via the ``Management Docs'' link from the parks' Web site http://www.nps.gov/seki or at the NPS planning Web site http://planning.den.nps.gov/, selecting plans, and choosing ``What's New'' under the listing for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Printed copies and CDs will be sent to agencies and organizations listed as recipients in the Consultation and Coordination section of the document.
Persons and organizations wishing to comment on the proposed General Management Plan must do so by writing to: GMP team leader Susan Spain, NPS Denver Service Center, 12795 W Alameda Parkway, Denver, CO 80225-0287 (or via e-mail to email@example.com); or GMP Coordinator David Graber, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271-9651 (or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition, the parks will conduct public meetings to facilitate review and comment on the draft EIS/GMP; these will be held during the comment period both in the parks, as well as in the following locations: Three Rivers, Visalia, Fresno/Clovis, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Bishop. Confirmed details on meeting locations, dates and times will be posted on the parks' Web site; updates can also be obtained by telephone at (559) 565-3101.
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