[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 180 (Thursday, September 17, 1998)]
[Notices]
[Page 49713]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-24858]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service


Notice of Intention To Extend Public Review Period for National 
Park Service Reference Manual #41: Wilderness Preservation and 
Management

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Public notice.

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SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) is converting and updating its 
current system of internal instructions to a three-level system 
consisting of: (1) NPS Management Policies; (2) Director's Orders; and 
(3) Reference Manuals/Handbooks and other helpful information. When 
these documents contain new policy or procedural requirements that may 
affect parties outside the NPS, this information is being made 
available for public comments. While the original 30-day public review 
period for this document ended on August 17, 1998, an additional 30-day 
public review period will be implemented and end on September 30, 1998.

DATES: Written comments will be accepted until September 30, 1998.

ADDRESSES: The draft Reference Manual #41 is available on the Internet 
at: http://www.nps.gov. The specific link can subsequently be reached 
by opening: ``Infozone,'' ``Reference Desk,'' ``Director's Orders.'' 
Reference Manual #41 is included under sub-title ``Draft Guidance 
Documents.'' Requests for copies and written comments should be sent to 
Jim Walters, National Park Service Deputy Wilderness Program 
Coordinator, National Park Service, P.O. Box 728, Santa Fe, New Mexico 
87504-0728.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Walters at 505 988-6022 (fax) 505 
988-6123, or Wes Henry at 202 208-5211.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents: Reference Manual #41: Wilderness Preservation 
and Management

I. Background and Purpose

    The purpose of Reference Manual #41: Wilderness Preservation and 
Management is to provide national park managers with the information 
they need to understand the laws and policies affecting the NPS 
wilderness resource and guidance for the application of the edicts into 
the day-to-day and long-term preservation of these resources. The 
Reference Manual contains: (1) An update of the NPS Management Policies 
pertaining to wilderness; (2) the Director's Orders intended to assist 
managers in the application of these policies, and (3) specific 
detailed references and background information affecting the Service's 
wilderness resource.

II. Legislative Guidance Applicable to NPS Wilderness Preservation

    This information is intended to provide park managers and the 
public with an understanding of the primary laws regulating the 
wilderness resource. This discussion includes: the relationship between 
the Wilderness Act and the NPS Organic Act, the clarification of 
Section 4(a)(3) of the Wilderness Act which is often misinterpreted by 
park managers, the implication of the Redwood Act Amendments to the 
Service's wilderness program, and an explanation of the Eastern 
Wilderness Act as it applies to the National Park Service.

III. Revised Management Policies Guiding Wilderness Preservation and 
Management (Level One)

    The ``Level One'' wilderness policy statements will revise and 
update previous policies included in Chapter 6 of the 1988 Wilderness 
Policies handbook. These revised policies include general statements 
addressing: wilderness characteristics and values, the process for 
reviewing potential wilderness additions, general wilderness policies, 
consistency of the Service's wilderness program, zoning, accountability 
and responsibility, management plans, the minimum requirement process, 
monitoring strategies, signing, research protocols, NPS administrative 
facilities, fire management, cultural resources, environmental 
compliance standards, general public use, commercial services, special 
events, grazing and livestock driveways, rights-of-way and mineral 
development and public education standards.

IV. Director's Order #41 (Level Two)

    The ``Level Two'' Director's Order are intended as more detailed 
guidance and standards for managers to use in the application of the 
revised policy statements. Director's Order #41 will be issued by the 
NPS Associate Director-Operations and Parks as required standards at 
which the respective programs and functions must be managed within NPS 
wilderness. These program, identified as ``Critical Issues'' include: 
wilderness management plan requirements, procedures for applying the 
``minimum requirement'' concept, interagency coordination, cultural 
resource management, climbing protocols, fire management, 
interpretation and education, mineral development, research and other 
scientific uses, wilderness use by persons with disabilities, special 
events, training requirements, and the administration of commercial 
services in wilderness.

V. Appendices

    The appendices of the Level 3 Reference Manual are intended as a 
reference and bibliography for wilderness managers. This information 
includes: a glossary of wilderness terms, the text of the Wilderness 
Act, the Wilderness Access Decision Tool (not included in the draft due 
to bulk of the appendix document), examples of minimum requirement 
decision tools, the minimum requirements of a wilderness management 
plan, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (not included 
in draft due to bulk of this Act), and a list of suggested readings 
relating to wilderness management.

    Dated: August 18, 1998.
Maureen Finnerty,
Associate Director, Operations and Education.
[FR Doc. 98-24858 Filed 9-16-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-P