[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 166 (Monday, August 27, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 51733-51739]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20898]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

36 CFR Part 7

[NPS-NERI-09778; 4785-LZY]
RIN 1024-AD95


Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, New River 
Gorge National River, Bicycle Routes

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

[[Page 51734]]


ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The National Park Service proposes to designate new and 
existing multi-use trails and administrative roads within the New River 
Gorge National River as bicycle routes. The rule is necessary because 
the National Park Service general regulation requires publication of a 
special regulation to designate routes for bicycle use when such use 
will be outside of developed areas and special use zones.

DATES: Comments must be received by October 26, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by Regulation 
Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AD95, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail or hand deliver to: Don Striker, Superintendent, 
Attn: Bicycle Regulation, New River Gorge National River, P.O. Box 246, 
Glen Jean, WV 25846-0246.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jamie Fields, Outdoor Recreation 
Planner, New River Gorge National River, P.O. Box 246 (104 Main St), 
Glen Jean, WV 25846, (304) 465-6527, Jamie_Fields@nps.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Administrative Background

    The New River Gorge National River (NERI or park), a unit of the 
National Park System located in West Virginia, encompasses 
approximately 72,000 acres within a 53-mile corridor along the New 
River, extending from Hawks Nest State Park to Hinton. Congress 
directed the establishment of NERI as a unit of the National Park 
System, largely in response to a 20-year grassroots effort organized by 
local community leaders. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed 
legislation establishing the park, ``for the purpose of conserving and 
interpreting outstanding natural, scenic, and historic values and 
objects in and around the New River Gorge and preserving as a free-
flowing stream an important segment of the New River in West Virginia 
for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.'' 
Public Law 95-625, sec. 1101, 1978. Subsequent legislation concerning 
the park states in its findings that NERI ``has provided the basis for 
increased recreation and tourism activities in southern West Virginia 
due to its nationally recognized status and has greatly contributed to 
the regional economy.'' Public Law 100-534, sec. 2(a)(1)-(2), 1988.
    The park's 1982 General Management Plan (1982 GMP) anticipated 
accommodating an expanding array of recreational pursuits, including 
off-road bicycling. It states that ``[l]evels of use of new or unusual 
forms of recreation (such as hang gliding, rock climbing, dirt 
bicycling) will be managed to avoid problems of visitor safety, 
conflicts between uses, or resource impacts.'' Page 18.
    The 1982 GMP also anticipated trail construction as funding became 
available. A subsequent park-wide Trail Development Plan (1993) 
recommended that the park develop a trail system emphasizing multiple 
uses, including hiking and bicycling. Both of these plans can be viewed 
by going to the NERI park planning Web site, http://www.nps.gov/neri/parkmgmt/planning.htm, then following this path: click the link for 
``Environmental Assessment: Design and Build Two Stacked Loop Hiking 
and Biking Trail Systems * * *;'' click the link to the Document List 
on the left; click the link to either the ``1982 NERI General 
Management Plan'' or the ``1993 NERI Trail Development Plan;'' then 
download the documents on their respective pages.
    The park began developing a new, updated general management plan in 
2005 to respond to changes in park boundaries, land acquisitions, and 
park and public needs and priorities that had occurred since the 1982 
GMP was approved. As a component of this process, and based upon an 
analysis of the park's enabling legislation and subsequent amendments, 
administrative history, resources, values and opportunities, NERI staff 
developed a Foundation Plan that determined that a major purpose of the 
park is to ``provide opportunities for public understanding, 
appreciation and enjoyment of the park's natural, cultural, scenic and 
recreational resources and values.'' Page 5. As stated in the 
Foundation Plan, two major reasons that NERI is significant enough to 
have been designated as a unit of the National Park System are its 
``diverse and extraordinary scenic resources and views accessible to 
visitors from the river, rocky overlooks, trails and rural roads 
throughout the park, and its exceptional opportunities for exploration, 
adventure, discovery, solitude and community.'' Page 6. Other purpose 
and significance statements that highlight the park's natural and 
cultural resources can be found in the Foundation Plan, which can be 
viewed by going to the NERI park planning Web site, http://www.nps.gov/neri/parkmgmt/planning.htm, then following this path: click the link 
for ``General Management Plan;'' click the link to the Document List on 
the left; click the link to the ``Draft General Management Plan and 
EIS/Draft Foundation Plan;'' then download the document entitled 
``Draft Foundation Plan'' at the bottom of the page (corrections to the 
Foundation Plan are located in the ``Abbreviated Final General 
Management Plan * * *,'' also in the Document List).
    The park's updated 2010/2011 GMP and Environmental Impact Statement 
(2010/2011 GMP/EIS) process revealed substantial and consistent public 
support for designating routes in the park as bicycle trails during 
public scoping (February 2004 through October 2007) and public comment 
(January 13, 2010 through April 16, 2010).
    The 2010/2011 GMP/EIS proposed that, after promulgation of the 
required special regulations and proper compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), bicycle use would be an appropriate 
use on new and existing trails. This would include bicycle use in 
frontcountry zones, in backcountry zones on single track trails, and on 
a limited basis on a variety of trail types in historic resource, river 
corridor, and park development zones. The Record of Decision (ROD) for 
the 2010/2011 GMP/EIS was signed, and the Notice of Availability was 
published in the Federal Register (77 FR 12877, March 2, 2012). The 
2010/2011 GMP/EIS can be viewed by going to the NERI park planning Web 
site, http://www.nps.gov/neri/parkmgmt/planning.htm, then following 
this path: click the link for ``General Management Plan;'' click the 
link to the Document List on the left; click the link to the ``Draft 
General Management Plan and EIS/Draft Foundation Plan;'' then download 
the documents at the bottom of the page (corrections to the 2010/2011 
GMP/EIS are located in the ``Abbreviated Final General Management Plan 
* * *,'' also in the Document List).
    As a result of the public support for bicycle use expressed early 
in the 2010/2011 GMP/EIS process, the park developed an Environmental 
Assessment (Trails EA) to evaluate the impact of the construction of 
new trails and designation of new and existing park trails as routes 
for bicycle use. Public scoping for the Trails EA, which occurred from 
November 10, 2009 until January 15, 2010 (with a public focus group on 
November 10, 2009 and a public open house on December 8, 2009), 
confirmed there was overwhelming support for bicycle use on trails. 
Only one of approximately 400 scoping comments from residents of 32

[[Page 51735]]

states was opposed to bicycle use at NERI.

Trail Terminology

    The following trail terminology is used in the 2010/2011 GMP/EIS, 
the Trails EA, and the proposed rule:
     Park administrative roads generally have one-lane (two-
track) dirt and gravel surfaces and are open only to National Park 
Service (NPS) authorized vehicle use. Public access is limited to 
hiking, in some cases bicycle use, and in a few cases equestrian use.
     Frontcountry trails, located in and near developed areas, 
have a maximum width of 30 to 36 inches and accommodate moderate use by 
a range of users (including hikers and bicyclists).
     Backcountry trails in remote areas do not exceed 18 to 24 
inches in width and are designed for low use by experienced hikers and, 
in limited cases, bicyclists.
     Stacked loop trail systems are designed to have 
interconnected loops of trails, often having a variety of degrees of 
difficulty, that provide trail users options for varied distances, 
routes and destinations.
     Connector trails connect destinations or other trails to 
one another. Also, connector trails are segments of trails that could 
link together the `Through the Park Trail,' as proposed in the 2010/
2011 GMP/EIS. Currently, only some segments of the future `Through the 
Park Trail' have been established.
     The term branch is synonymous with ``creek.'' For example, 
Panther Branch is a creek that is a tributary of the New River.
     The difficulty of negotiating various trail sections in 
the two stacked loop trail systems is described in the Trails EA by 
designations of Easiest, More Difficult, and Most Difficult. The Trails 
EA anticipates that these descriptions will be applied to all other 
bike trails in the park.
     [cir] Represented by a green circle, the easiest trails may be 
identified as ``Easy'' on interpretive kiosks and other publicly 
available media and are appropriate for bicyclists of a novice skill 
level. Easiest trails have firm surfaces with few obstacles, average 
trail grades of five percent or less, maximum grades of ten percent or 
less and are generally about 30 to 36 inches wide at the active trail 
tread.
     [cir] Represented by a blue square, the more difficult trails may 
be designated as ``Moderate'' on interpretive kiosks and other publicly 
available media and are trails appropriate for bicyclists of an 
intermediate skill level. More difficult trails may include obstacles 
such as steps, stairs, and steep, exposed sections. Average trail 
grades on more difficult trails are ten percent or less, maximum grades 
are 15 percent or less, and active tread width is about 20 to 24 
inches.
     [cir] Represented by a black diamond, the most difficult trails 
may be designated as ``Difficult'' (or sometimes ``Strenuous'') on 
interpretive kiosks and other publicly available media and are 
appropriate for bicyclists of an expert skill level. Most difficult 
trails include obstacles such as steps, stairs, and significantly steep 
or exposed sections, have average grades of 15 percent or less, but can 
include maximum grades of 15 percent or more. Active tread width of 
most difficult trails is generally 12 to 18 inches.

Alternatives in Trails EA

    The Trails EA presented three alternatives. Alternative A is the No 
Action Alternative and provided for the continuation of current 
management practices. Proposals common to both action alternatives (B 
and C) provided for the designation of some existing park trails and 
administrative roads as routes open to bicycle use, and for the 
construction and designation of three new trails for hiking and bicycle 
use by converting existing roads no longer used for vehicle access into 
the Mud Turn, Panther Branch Connector and Brooklyn Miner's Connector 
Trails.
    Alternative B, the Preferred Alternative that became the NPS 
Selected Alternative, also provided for the development and 
construction of approximately 11 miles of new single track trail, 
called the Craig Branch Stacked Loop Trail System, and the development 
and construction of 33 miles of new single track trail, called the 
Garden Ground Stacked Loop Trail System for hiking and bicycle use.
    Alternative C provided for the development and construction of 4.5 
miles of single track trail on existing informal routes, such as old 
logging roads, called the Craig Branch Stacked Loop Trail System, and 
the development and construction of 45 miles of new single track trail, 
much of which would also be constructed on existing informal routes, 
called the Garden Ground Stacked Loop Trail System for bicycle use.
    Of the 50 comments received on the Trails EA during the public 
comment period from January 26, 2011 through March 4, 2011, only two 
did not support the preferred alternative. One of these comments 
opposed the new trail development and did not mention bike use, and the 
other comment opposed bike use in natural areas, but did not 
specifically address NERI. The other 48 comments, most of which came 
from the local community of regular park visitors, supported bicycle 
use in the park.
    Following public comment, the NPS selected the preferred 
alternative B, including the proposals common to both action 
alternatives. The NPS Northeast Regional Director signed a Finding of 
No Significant Impact (FONSI) on April 1, 2011. The Trails EA and FONSI 
can be viewed by going to the NERI park planning Web site, http://www.nps.gov/neri/parkmgmt/planning.htm, then following this path: click 
the link for ``Environmental Assessment: Design and Build Two Stacked 
Loop Hiking and Biking Trail Systems * * *;'' click the link to the 
Document List on the left; click the link to either the ``Environmental 
Assessment--Design and Build * * *'' or the ``Finding of No Significant 
Impact (FONSI);'' then download the documents on their respective 
pages.

Renaming of Trails

    Since the FONSI was signed, several trail names in the Nuttallburg 
area of the park have changed. The Nuttall Mine Trail (also an 
administrative road) was renamed the Headhouse Trail on public maps. 
The Nuttallburg Town Connector Trail was renamed the Nuttallburg Town 
Loop Connector Trail. The Nuttallburg Tipple Trail (also an 
administrative road) was broken up on public maps into the Tipple Trail 
and the Seldom Seen Trail. The actual trail/administrative road on the 
ground remains the same as the Nuttallburg Tipple Trail addressed in 
the EA and FONSI. The Keeneys Creek Trail has been renamed on some 
public maps and documents as the Keeneys Creek Rail Trail, but older 
materials still call it the Keeneys Creek Trail.
    Since its construction in summer of 2011, the Craig Branch Stacked 
Loop Trail System has been renamed the Arrowhead Trail. The proposed 
rule and future park maps will reflect this change, while prior 
documents (primarily the Trails EA and FONSI) refer to the Craig Branch 
Stacked Loop Trail System. Additionally, the Trails EA and FONSI refer 
to the stacked loop trails in the Craig Branch (now Arrowhead) and 
Garden Ground areas as ``trail systems.'' In the proposed rule, they 
are called the ``Arrowhead Trail'' and the ``Garden Ground Stacked Loop 
Trail,'' and are each treated as individual trails with interconnected 
segments.

[[Page 51736]]

Proposed Rule

    Following the Trails EA and FONSI, the proposed rule would 
authorize bicycle use on two new stacked loop trail systems (the 
Arrowhead Trail and the Garden Ground Stacked Loop Trail System), three 
new trails converted from existing roads that are no longer used for 
vehicle access (the Mud Turn, Panther Branch Connector and Brooklyn 
Miner's Connector Trails), and 19 existing trails and administrative 
roads throughout the park. All of the new trails are approved for 
construction through the FONSI, but only the Arrowhead Trail has been 
constructed.

Arrowhead and Garden Ground Stacked Loop Trails

    The Arrowhead Trail includes 13 miles of easy and more difficult 
single track trail above the rim of the New River Gorge on rolling, 
forested terrain. The trail has been built according to the 
frontcountry trail standards outlined in the park's 2010/2011 GMP/EIS. 
The Garden Ground Stacked Loop Trail would include approximately 33 
miles of more difficult and most difficult single track trail 
traversing the edge of the plateau and along the bottom of the gorge 
parallel to the New River, with several challenging rim-to-river 
connections on the steep, forested slopes. The Garden Ground Stacked 
Loop Trail segments will be built in accordance with the backcountry 
trail standards outlined in the park's 2010/2011 GMP/EIS. Both trail 
systems will connect to other existing park trails and incorporate 
sustainable design and construction elements that take multi-use (hike 
and bike) social and physical issues into account while also mitigating 
the impacts of hiking and bicycle use. As new trails are constructed, 
old logging roads and recreational vehicle routes on adjacent lands 
will be rehabilitated and invasive plant species will be treated or 
removed.

Three New Trails Converted From Roads

    The proposed rule would designate three new trails that would be 
constructed by converting existing, unused roads into single track, 
multi-use (hike and bike) trails. The Mud Turn Trail would be located 
on an abandoned road that connects the rim at Grandview to the river 
along Glade Creek Road by running along Mill Creek for approximately 
2.75 miles. The Panther Branch Connector Trail, approximately three 
miles long between Glade Creek and Panther Branch, would be located on 
an abandoned state road and on a short section of old rail bed that was 
abandoned in the 1940s. The Brooklyn Miner's Connector Trail, less than 
one mile long, would be located on segments of an abandoned coal road 
connecting the lower tipple to the upper mine bench of the Brooklyn 
Mine area. These proposed road-to-trail conversions would be built to 
the backcountry trail standards proposed in the park's 2010/2011 GMP/
EIS and incorporate the same sustainable design and construction 
principles used in the Arrowhead Trail.

Designation of Existing Trails and Administrative Roads for Bicycle Use

    The proposed rule would designate 19 existing park trails and 
administrative roads, approximately 52 miles in total, to allow bicycle 
use. These are predominantly remnants of roads and railroad beds 
existing before the park was established or before the park had 
acquired land within its boundaries. Created primarily for logging and 
mining, some tracks were later developed or used for recreational 
purposes by local people on foot, and by off-road vehicle, motorcycle 
or bicycle. Once the park was established and the NPS acquired the 
land, these routes were adaptively reused as trails and administrative 
roads. Additional trails have since been constructed by NPS, most 
notably the Fayetteville Trail complex, which includes the backcountry 
Fayetteville Trail, the Park Loop, and the Timber Ridge Trail.

Trails To Be Designated for Bicycle Use

    The proposed rule would authorize bicycle use on the routes listed 
and described in the tables below. Trails are labeled as Frontcountry, 
Backcountry, or Administrative Road in accordance with the management 
zones listed in the 2010/2011 GMP/EIS and the terms defined in the 
Trails EA. Trails that are only partially located on administrative 
roads are noted where appropriate.

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               Trail name                  Mi.              Existing or new                 Trail standard
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                              Proposed Routes for Bicycle Use--Stacked Loop Trails
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Arrowhead Trail........................     13.0  New, Constructed..................  Frontcountry.
Garden Ground Stacked Loop Trail.......     33.0  New, Constructed..................  Backcountry.
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                          Proposed Routes for Bicycle Use--Trails Converted From Roads
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mud Turn Trail.........................      2.8  New...............................  Backcountry.
Panther Branch Connector Trail.........      3.0  New...............................  Backcountry.
Brooklyn Miner's Connector Trail.......      0.8  New...............................  Backcountry.
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                    Proposed Routes for Bicycle Use--Existing Trails and Administrative Roads
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hawks Nest Connector Trail.............      3.5  Existing..........................  Frontcountry.
Fayetteville Trail.....................      4.0  Existing..........................  Backcountry.
Park Loop Trail........................      1.1  Existing..........................  Backcountry.
Timber Ridge Trail.....................      1.0  Existing..........................  Backcountry.
Kaymoor Trail..........................      8.6  Existing..........................  Part Frontcountry/Part
                                                                                       Administrative Road.
Craig Branch Trail.....................      2.4  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.
Long Point Trail (except the last 0.2        1.4  Existing..........................  Frontcountry.
 mi closest to the Long Point vista).
Keeneys Creek Rail Trail...............      3.0  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.
Headhouse Trail........................      0.5  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.
Tipple Trail...........................      0.5  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.
Seldom Seen Trail......................      0.3  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.
Nuttallburg Town Loop Connector Trail..      0.3  Existing..........................  Frontcountry.
Brooklyn Mine Trail....................      2.7  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.
Southside Trail........................      7.0  Existing..........................  Part Frontcountry/Part
                                                                                       Administrative Road.
Rend Trail.............................      3.4  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.

[[Page 51737]]

 
Stone Cliff Trail......................      2.7  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.
Terry Top Trail........................      1.7  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.
Little Laurel Trail....................      2.6  Existing..........................  Administrative Road.
Glade Creek Trail......................      5.6  Existing..........................  Part Frontcountry/Part
                                                                                       Administrative Road.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Maps of these designated routes are available in the office of the 
Superintendent and may also be viewed in the Trails EA, which can be 
found by going to the NERI park planning Web site, http://www.nps.gov/neri/parkmgmt/planning.htm, then following this path: click the link 
for ``Environmental Assessment: Design and Build Two Stacked Loop 
Hiking and Biking Trail Systems * * * ;'' click the link to the 
Document List on the left; click the link to the ``Environmental 
Assessment--Design and Build * * *;'' then download the document at the 
bottom of the page. A park map showing existing trails and 
administrative roads can also be found by downloading the NERI Trails 
Guide from the following Web site: http://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/trails-guide.htm.

Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders, and Department Policy 
Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs) will review all significant rules. The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not 
significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent 
with these requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities under the RFA (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.). This conclusion is based on the results of a cost/benefit and 
regulatory flexibility threshold analysis available for review on the 
NERI park planning Web site, http://www.nps.gov/neri/parkmgmt/planning.htm. The rule would not regulate small business. The rule 
would likely increase visitation at the park, which could generate 
benefits for small businesses in the local community through increased 
spending for goods and services.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the SBREFA. 
This rule:
    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more. The July 2011 NPS economic analysis estimated that the 
addition of more than 100 miles of new trails will significantly 
improve NERI's attractiveness to bicyclists and thus drive additional 
economic activity.
    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions. The rule will not impose restrictions 
on local businesses in the form of fees, training, recordkeeping, or 
other measures that would increase costs.
    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector. The rule addresses 
public use of national park lands, and imposes no requirements on other 
agencies or governments. A statement containing the information 
required by the UMRA (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    Under the criteria in section 2 of Executive Order 12630, this rule 
does not have significant takings implications. This rule only 
designates bicycle routes and manages bicycle use on those routes 
within the boundaries of the New River National River. A takings 
implication assessment is not required.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, this rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. This rule only 
effects use of NPS administered lands. A Federalism summary impact 
statement is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. 
Specifically, this rule:
    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be 
written to minimize litigation; and
    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 
standards.

Consultation With Indian tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department 
Policy)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this 
rule under the Department's consultation policy and under the criteria 
in Executive Order 13175 and have determined that it has no substantial 
direct effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and that 
consultation under the Department's tribal consultation policy is not 
required.
    Throughout numerous past and current park planning processes, no 
expression of affiliation has been asserted with NERI by any tribal 
governments or organizations. Tribes that could potentially be 
affiliated were contacted individually during the development of the 
2010/2011 GMP/EIS and no response was received. Copies of the Trails EA 
were sent to 14 Native American tribes who were identified as possibly 
having some interest in the

[[Page 51738]]

park. The Chief of the Remnant Yuchi Nation was the only tribal 
representative to respond; he indicated that he was grateful to be 
acknowledged, that the NPS should continue the excellent work, and that 
he had no formal questions at this time.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and 
a submission under the PRA is not required.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    We have prepared environmental assessments to determine whether 
this rule would have a significant impact on the quality of the human 
environment under the NEPA. This rule does not constitute a major 
Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human 
environment. A detailed statement under the NEPA is not required 
because the NPS reached a FONSI for the Selected Alternative. The 
Trails EA, the FONSI and other relevant documents and records of the 
public process may be viewed by going to the NERI park planning Web 
site, http://www.nps.gov/neri/parkmgmt/planning.htm.

Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition 
in Executive Order 13211. A statement of Energy Effects is not 
required.

Clarity of This Regulation

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 (section 1 (b)(12)), 
12988 (section 3(b)(1)(B)), and 13563 (section 1(a)), and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (a) Be logically organized;
    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (c) Use common, everyday words and clear language rather than 
jargon;
    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To 
better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as 
possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections 
or paragraphs that you find unclear, which sections or sentences are 
too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, 
etc.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email 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.

Drafting Information

    The primary authors of this proposed rule were Jamie Fields, New 
River Gorge National River; Joshua Nadas, NPS Conservation and Outdoor 
Recreation Programs; and Justin Hollimon, Regulations and Special Park 
Uses, National Park Service, Washington, DC.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the NPS proposes to amend 36 CFR 
part 7 as follows:

PART 7--SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM

    1. The authority for part 7 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1, 3, 9a, 462(k); Sec. 7.96 also issued 
under DC Code 10-137 (2001) and DC Code 50-2201 (2001).

    2. In Sec.  7.89 revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  7.89  New River Gorge National River.

* * * * *
    (b) Bicycling (1) Where may I ride a bicycle within New River Gorge 
National River? Bicycle use is permitted on park roads, in parking 
areas, and on routes designated within the park in accordance with 
Sec.  4.30 of this chapter. The following table lists administrative 
roads and trails designated for bicycle use:

  Administrative Roads and Trails Designated for Bicycle Use--North to
                                  South
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hawks Nest Connector Trail..  Keeneys Creek Rail    Rend Trail.
                               Trail.
Fayetteville Trail..........  Headhouse Trail.....  Stone Cliff Trail.
Park Loop Trail.............  Tipple Trail........  Terry Top Trail.
Timber Ridge Trail..........  Seldom Seen Trail...  Garden Ground
                                                     Stacked Loop Trail.
Kaymoor Trail...............  Nuttallburg Town      Little Laurel Trail.
                               Loop Connector
                               Trail.
Craig Branch Trail..........  Brooklyn Mine Trail.  Mud Turn Trail.
Arrowhead Trail.............  Brooklyn Miner's      Glade Creek Trail.
                               Connector Trail.
Long Point Trail (except 0.2  Southside Trail.....  Panther Branch
 miles closest to Long Point                         Connector Trail.
 Vista).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (2) How will I know where the trails designated for bicycle use 
are located in the park? Designated trails are identified on maps 
located in the Superintendent's office, at interpretive kiosks, and on 
the park's Web site. Trails will also be posted at trailheads and other 
appropriate locations.
    (3) What requirements must I meet to ride a bicycle within New 
River Gorge National River? (i) In addition to the applicable 
provisions in 36 CFR part 4, all bicyclists must yield to other trail 
users in the following manner:
    (A) A bicyclist must yield to an equestrian;
    (B) A bicyclist must yield to a pedestrian; and
    (C) A bicyclist travelling downhill must yield to a bicyclist 
travelling uphill.
    (ii) Yielding the right of way requires slowing down to a safe 
speed, being prepared to stop, establishing communication, and passing 
safely.
    (iii) Failure to yield is prohibited.
    (4) How will the Superintendent manage the designated bicycle 
routes? The Superintendent may open or close designated bicycle routes, 
or portions thereof, or impose conditions or restrictions for bicycle 
use after taking into consideration public health and safety, natural 
and cultural resource protection, and other management activities and 
objectives.
    (i) The Superintendent will provide public notice of all such 
actions through

[[Page 51739]]

one or more of the methods listed in Sec.  1.7 of this chapter.
    (ii) Violating a closure, condition, or restriction is prohibited.

    Dated: August 17, 2012.
Rachel Jacobson,
 Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2012-20898 Filed 8-24-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-YP-P