Angeles Volunteer Association

SOURCE:  Federal Register, January 19, 2005

National Park Service, Pacific West Region

San Gabriel River Watershed Special Resource Study, Los Angeles
and Orange Counties, CA; Notice of Scoping

UPDATE:  Public Comment Period
has been extended again, to June 20, 2005.

Summary: Notice is hereby given in accordance with provisions of
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Public Law 91-190) and
Council on Environmental Quality's implementing regulations (40 CFR
1502.9(c)) that public scoping has been initiated for the conservation
planning and environmental impact analysis process to identify and
assess potential impacts of alternative resource protection and other
considerations within the San Gabriel River Watershed Special Resource
Study area in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Region. The purpose of the
scoping process is to elicit public comment regarding issues and
concerns, alternatives, and the nature and extent of potential
environmental impacts (and as appropriate, mitigation measures) which
should be addressed.
Background: As authorized by Public Law 108-042, the NPS is
conducting a special resource study of the San Gabriel River and its
tributaries from the city of Santa Fe Springs to the north, and the San
Gabriel Mountains within the territory of the San Gabriel and Lower Los
Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. The study area includes areas
of the Angeles National Forest, as well as many urban communities along
the San Gabriel River and its tributaries. Although the Angeles
National Forest and various local and county parks provide recreational
opportunities, many communities within the study area experience a lack
of open space and their associated recreational opportunities.
In conducting the San Gabriel Watershed Special Resource Study, the
NPS will evaluate the national significance of the area's natural and
cultural resources. The NPS will also assess the area's suitability and
feasibility to be a unit of the National Park System. Factors which the
NPS study team will evaluate include: Whether the study area includes
types or quality of resources not already adequately represented in the
National Park System; whether long-term protection and public use of
the area are feasible; and whether the area can be adequately protected
and administered at a reasonable cost. The NPS's conclusions may vary
for different portions of the study area.
The NPS will also consider: Alternative strategies for the
management, protection and use of significant resources within the
overall study area, including management by other public agencies or
the private sector; technical or financial assistance available from
established programs or special initiatives and partnerships;
alternative designations to a national park unit and; cooperative
management by NPS and other entities.
The authorizing statute directs the NPS to consider regional flood
control and drainage needs and publicly owned infrastructure such as
wastewater treatment facilities. Opportunities for increased open space
and recreational opportunities will also be considered in the study.
Public Involvement: During the study process, a range of
alternatives will be developed, in consultation with Federal, State and
local governments and the public. The law authorizing this study
directs the NPS to consult with the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles
Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and with other appropriate Federal,
State and local governmental entities. The NPS will conduct an
environmental review of the alternatives and the potential impacts of
resource protection considerations as part of the San Gabriel River
Watershed Special Resource Study. At this time, it has not been
determined whether an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental
Impact Statement will be prepared, however, this scoping process will
aid in the preparation of either document, and public comments will aid
in making this determination. The public will have opportunities to
comment and participate throughout the study
process, including the opportunity to review the environmental document
and submit additional comments.
For initial scoping and alternatives development, the most useful
comments are those that provide the NPS with assistance in identifying
issues and concerns which should be addressed, or providing important
information germane to this study. All responses to this Notice will
also be used to establish a mailing list of interested persons,
organizations, and agencies that desire to receive further information
as the environmental document is developed.
The public scoping period for the San Gabriel River Watershed
Special Resource Study will conclude 90 days after the publication of
this Scoping Notice in the Federal Register. As soon as this date can
be determined, it will be posted on the study Web site (noted below)
and announced by press release to local and regional media. Scoping
meetings will be held in the Los Angeles Region in the winter and/or
spring of 2005. Interested individuals, organizations, and agencies
wishing to provide written comments on issues or concerns should
respond to: National Park Service, San Gabriel River Watershed Special
Resource Study, 1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700, Oakland, CA 94607.
Comments may also be submitted electronically through the NPS Planning,
Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system (which can be accessed
through the study's Web site listed below). In addition, the study team
may be contacted anytime via e-mail at If
individuals submitting comments request that their name and/or address
be withheld from public disclosure, it will be honored to the extent
allowable by law. Such requests must be stated prominently in the
beginning of the comments. There also may be circumstances wherein the
NPS will withhold a respondent's identity as allowable by law. As
always: NPS will make available to public inspection all submissions
from organizations or businesses and from persons identifying
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations and
businesses; and, anonymous comments may not be considered.
Future Information: Further information about the study process and opportunities for
the public to participate will be distributed via direct mailings, regional and local news
media, and announcements on the San Gabriel Watershed Special Resource Study
Web site (
Decision Process: Availability of the forthcoming draft
environmental document for review and written comment will be announced
by local and regional news media, the above listed Web site, and direct
mailing. At this time the draft document is anticipated to be available
for public review and comment by late 2006 or early 2007. Comments on
the draft document will be fully considered in the decision making
process and responded to as appropriate in the final document. The
official responsible for the initial recommendation will be the
Regional Director, Pacific West Region, National Park Service. The
official responsible for amending or ratifying the recommendation and
transmitting the final document to the Secretary of the Interior will
be the Director of the National Park Service. The final document will
identify the alternative that, in the professional judgment of the
Director of the National Park Service, is the most effective and
efficient method for protecting significant resources and providing for
public enjoyment. The Secretary of the Interior subsequently will
forward the completed study along with a recommendation regarding the
Secretary's preferred management option for the area to Congress for
their consideration. It is anticipated that the final study report will
be available in winter 2008.

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