National Park Service seeks public input on backcountry management plan; Grand Canyon

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — The National Park Service announced Tuesday another opportunity for the public to weigh in on revisions to Grand Canyon National Park’s Backcountry Management Plan.

The NPS began developing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for this plan in 2011 in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. More than 580 public comments were submitted during the initial phases of the development of this impact statement.

The purpose of the BMP is to establish an up-­to­-date plan that addresses contemporary backcountry issues, provides an adaptable framework and continues to allow the public to experience and preserve Grand Canyon’s unique backcountry and wilderness.

The Grand Canyon’s existing BMP was completed in 1988 and requires revisions to comply with current park service 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 Backcountry Management Plan 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 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:

  • Dec. 2, from 4-6 p.m.
    • Shrine of the Ages, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon Village, Arizona
  • Dec. 7, from 4-7 p.m.
    • DoubleTree Hotel, 1175 W. Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

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 website; or via the US Postal Service.

The PEPC database is the preferred method for submitting comments and can be accessed online.

Comments can also be mailed to:

Superintendent

Grand Canyon National Park

Attn: Backcountry Management Plan

PO Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

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.

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