National Park Service Seeks Public Input on a Backcountry Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Grand Canyon National Park
November 1, 2015
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The National Park Service (NPS) announced today another opportunity for the public to weigh in on revisions to Grand Canyon National Park’s Backcountry Management Plan (BMP). The NPS began developing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for this plan in 2011 in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). More than 580 public comments were submitted during the initial phases of the development of this DEIS.
The purpose of the BMP is to establish an up-to-date plan that addresses contemporary backcountry issues and provides an adaptable framework and continues to allow the public to experience and preserve Grand Canyon’s unique backcountry and wilderness. Grand Canyon’s existing BMP was completed in 1988 and requires revisions to comply with current NPS laws and policies and the park’s 1995 General Management Plan. The park’s backcountry encompasses over 1.1 million acres, most of which are proposed for wilderness designation.
Available for review and comment, the BMP DEIS evaluates four alternatives–a no-action alternative and three action alternatives. The comment period for the DEIS will close 90 days after the Notice of Availability (NOA) is published in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal Register.
Public participation is an integral part of this planning process and will help ensure the plan’s success. To facilitate public participation, the NPS will host open house meetings as follows:
Tuesday, December 2, 2015
Grand Canyon Village, South Rim
Shrine of the Ages
From 4 to 6 pm
Monday, December 7, 2015
DoubleTree Hotel, 1175 W. Route 66
From 4 to 7 pm
The NPS will also hold at least one webinar to reach the broadest range of stakeholders and interested public. Information about the webinar will be announced at a later date.
All interested parties may submit comments in person at one of the open house meetings; on the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website; or via the US Postal Service.
The PEPC database is the preferred method for submitting comments and can be accessed at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/grca. Click on the “Backcountry Management Plan” or “Open for Comments” tab on the left-hand side of the toolbar and then select the EIS link.
More information about the Backcountry Management Plan and DEIS, public scoping, and public meetings will be posted on the PEPC site as it becomes available.