[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 79 (Wednesday, April 24, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Page 24232]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-09675]



[[Page 24232]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-AKR-DENA-11706; PPAKAKROZ4, PPMPSAS1Y.YP0000]


Record of Decision for the Denali Park Road Final Vehicle 
Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Denali National 
Park and Preserve

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service (NPS) announces 
the availability of a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Vehicle 
Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Denali National 
Park and Preserve. The Vehicle Management Plan addresses management of 
all motorized vehicles on the restricted section of the Denali Park 
Road (Mile 15-Mile 90). This plan amends the vehicle management aspect 
of the park's General Management Plan (GMP). The NPS will propose a 
modification to the current park-specific regulations in order to 
implement these amendments. The NPS selected Alternative D (NPS 
Preferred Alternative), which offers visitors the opportunity to have a 
high-quality experience using a transportation system that offers 
predictability, efficiency, and variety. The ROD details the background 
of the project, the decision made (selected alternative), other 
alternatives considered, the basis for the decision, the 
environmentally preferable alternative, measures adopted to minimize 
environmental harm, and public involvement in the decision making 
process.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD will be available in an electronic format 
online at the NPS Planning, Environmental and Public Comment Web site 
at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dena. Hard copies and compact discs of 
the plan/FEIS are available on request by contacting: Miriam Valentine, 
Chief of Planning, Denali National Park and Preserve, P.O. Box 9, 
Denali Park, Alaska, 99755, or by telephone at (907) 733-9102.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Miriam Valentine, Chief of Planning, 
Denali National Park and Preserve, P.O. Box 9, Denali Park, Alaska 
99755, or by telephone at (907) 733-9102.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Vehicle management on the Denali Park Road, 
the primary means of access into Denali National Park and Preserve, has 
been based on a GMP from 1986 and the Entrance Area and Road Corridor 
Development Plan (a GMP amendment) completed in 1997.
    The purpose of this Vehicle Management Plan is to provide specific 
direction for improved vehicle management on the restricted section of 
the Denali Park Road for approximately the next 20 years. The plan 
describes how the NPS will manage vehicle use on the Park Road in order 
to provide visitors with an opportunity for a high-quality experience 
while protecting wilderness resources and values, scenic values, 
wildlife, and other park resources; and maintaining the unique 
character of the Park Road.
    The Notice of Availability for the draft plan/environmental impact 
statement was published in the Federal Register on August 1, 2011 (FR 
45848). Public meetings were held in Denali Park (August 23, 2011); 
Fairbanks (August 31, 2011); and Anchorage (September 7, 2011). 
Approximately 61 people attended the meetings. Additionally, park staff 
were invited by stakeholder groups to discuss the draft plan at their 
regular meetings. Park staff attended and presented at approximately 
six stakeholder meetings.
    The initial 60-day public comment period, August 1 through 
September 30, 2011, was extended to October 31, 2011, in response to 
numerous requests from the public and organizations. 324 pieces of 
correspondence were received, containing 889 comments, during the 90-
day comment period.
    A preferred alternative was not identified in the draft plan to 
allow for refinement of the existing alternatives based on public 
input. The preferred alternative in the final plan addresses many of 
the comments and concerns that were received on the draft plan. The 
Notice of Availability for the final plan/environmental impact 
statement was published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2012 (FR 
39253).
    The NPS selected Alternative D (NPS Preferred Alternative). With 
the implementation of this alternative the number of vehicles, their 
schedules, and behavior will be managed to meet visitor demand while 
maintaining standards for desired resource conditions and visitor 
experience. Several times each season, key indicators will be monitored 
to assess the success of current traffic levels, behavior, and patterns 
to determine whether the set standards are being met.
    Comprehensive monitoring will also be conducted at regular 
intervals to specifically address the impacts of traffic on wildlife, 
wilderness, and the visitor experience. A Before-After Control Impact 
(BACI) study will be conducted within the first five years of the 
plan's implementation to affirm the selection of key indicators and to 
distinguish impacts due to changes in current traffic patterns and 
traffic levels. Data from long-term inventory and monitoring programs 
may also be used to evaluate whether changes in the resource condition 
are occurring.
    In addition to managing for desired conditions, the maximum level 
of vehicle use on the restricted section of the Park Road will be 160 
vehicles per 24-hour period. This limit includes all motor vehicles 
counted westbound at the Savage River Check Station. The 160-vehicle 
limit is derived from traffic model simulation results and extensive 
scientific research on visitor preferences and resource condition.

    Dated: February 14, 2013.
Joel L. Hard,
Deputy Regional Director, Alaska.
[FR Doc. 2013-09675 Filed 4-23-13; 8:45 am]
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