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Draft Environmental Impact Statement on a Denali Park Road Vehicle Management Plan for Denali National Park and Preserve

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Draft Environmental Impact Statement on a Denali Park Road Vehicle Management Plan for Denali National Park and Preserve

Sue E. Masica
Federal Register
August 1, 2011


[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 147 (Monday, August 1, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45848-45849]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-19310]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service


Draft Environmental Impact Statement on a Denali Park Road 
Vehicle Management Plan for Denali National Park and Preserve

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement on a Denali Park Road Vehicle Management Plan for Denali 
National Park and Preserve.

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SUMMARY: The National Park Service announces the availability of a 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on a Denali Park Road 
Vehicle Management Plan for Denali National Park and Preserve. The 
document describes and analyzes the environmental impacts of a no 
action alternative and two action alternatives for management of 
vehicle use on the Denali Park Road. This notice

[[Page 45849]]

announces the public comment period, the locations of public meetings, 
and solicits comments on the DEIS.

DATES: Comments on the DEIS must be received no later than September 
30, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the DEIS should be submitted to Miriam 
Valentine, Park Planner, Denali National Park and Preserve, P.O. Box 
588, Talkeetna, AK 99676.
    Submit comments electronically through the NPS Planning, 
Environment and Public Comment system (PEPC) at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. The DEIS may be viewed and retrieved at this Web 
site as well. Hard copies of the DEIS are available by request from the 
aforementioned address. See Supplementary Information for the locations 
of public meetings.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Miriam Valentine, Park Planner, Denali 
National Park and Preserve, miriam_valentine@nps.gov, Telephone: 907-
733-9102.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the DEIS is to analyze the 
effects of the alternatives for managing vehicle use along the Park 
Road in Denali National Park. Since the mid-1920s, visitors have been 
able to travel the approximately 90-mile Park Road on buses operated by 
the park concessioner. Starting in 1972, when private vehicle traffic 
was restricted beyond mile 15 of the road, visitors have used the 
mandatory visitor transportation system. The present approach for 
managing vehicles on the Park Road is based on the park's 1986 general 
management plan, which established a seasonal limit of 10,512 vehicles 
beyond mile 15 between approximately Memorial Day and a week after 
Labor Day. As tourism in Alaska has increased, so have demands for 
visits along the Park Road. This plan evaluates how to manage vehicle 
use, while continuing to provide high quality visitor experience, 
opportunities to view wildlife in natural habitats and to access the 
park's wilderness. The Denali Park Road Vehicle Management Plan is 
intended to guide park managers over the next 20 years with management 
of vehicles on the Park Road. The DEIS considers a reasonable range of 
alternatives based on management objectives, park resources and values, 
and public input.
    Alternative A: (No Action): This alternative would continue current 
management of vehicle use on the Park Road. In addition to a seasonal 
limit of 10,512 vehicles past mile 15, there would continue to be 
specific seasonal and daily limits to tour buses, shuttle buses, 
inholder traffic, professional photographer vehicles, NPS 
administrative vehicles and other categories of vehicles.
    Alternative B: This alternative would use an adaptive management 
framework for vehicle use based on indicators and standards for visitor 
experiences and resource protection. While adhering to these standards, 
management would maximize seating on all transit and tour vehicles to 
offer the largest number of visitors the opportunity to travel the Park 
Road. This adaptive management framework would include options for 
reducing or scheduling non-bus traffic to allow for additional visitor 
use.
    Alternative C: This alternative would use an adaptive management 
framework for vehicle use based on indicators and standards for visitor 
experiences and resource protection. While adhering to these standards, 
management would promote a wide variety of visitor opportunities that 
would include brief experiences in the park's entrance area, short 
visits along segments of the Park Road, special interest tours, and 
multiday experiences in the park's backcountry. This adaptive 
management framework would include options for reducing or scheduling 
non-bus traffic to allow for additional visitor use.
    At this time, the NPS does not have a preferred alternative, and 
public comment is sought to inform selection of a preferred alternative 
in the final EIS.
    Public meetings are scheduled in Alaska at the following locations: 
Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Denali National Park. The specific dates and 
times of the public meetings will be announced in local media.
    If you include your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other 
personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware 
that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Dated: May 6, 2011.
Sue E. Masica,
Regional Director, Alaska.
[FR Doc. 2011-19310 Filed 7-29-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-PF-P



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