[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 234 (Thursday, December 5, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 73092-73097]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29087]



National Park Service

36 CFR Part 7

RIN 1024-AD95

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

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This rule authorizes bicycle use on new and existing multi-use 
trails and administrative roads within the New River Gorge National 
River. The rule is necessary because the National Park Service general 
regulation for bicycle use requires publication of a special regulation 
when new trails are constructed outside of developed areas.

DATES: The rule is effective January 6, 2014.

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.


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 
established 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'' (Pub. L. 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'' 
(Pub. L. 100-534, sec. 2(a)(1)-(2), 1988).

Park Planning

    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.''
    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. The park's updated 2010/2011 GMP and Environmental 
Impact Statement (2010/2011 GMP/EIS) process revealed substantial and 
consistent public support for authorizing bicycle use on 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 
states was opposed to bicycle use at NERI.

The Trails EA

    The Preferred Alternative that became the NPS Selected Action upon 
approval of the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) 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

[[Page 73093]]

hiking and bicycle use by converting existing, abandoned roads into the 
Mud Turn, Panther Branch Connector, and Brooklyn Miner's Connector 
Trails. The Selected Action 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 approximately 33 miles of new single track trail, 
called the Garden Ground Stacked Loop Trail System, for hiking and 
bicycle use.
    The Trails EA, FONSI, and maps of these trails 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 (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 divided into two segments on maps and renamed 
the Tipple Trail and the Seldom Seen Trail. The Keeneys Creek Trail has 
been renamed on some 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 final rule 
and future park maps will reflect this change, while prior documents 
(including 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 final rule, they are called 
the ``Arrowhead Trail'' and the ``Garden Ground Stacked Loop Trail,'' 
and are each treated as individual trails with interconnected segments.
    A park map showing existing trails and administrative roads can be 
viewed by downloading the NERI Trails Guide from the following Web 
site: http://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/trails-guide.htm.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    On August 27, 2012, the NPS published a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking for the designation of certain new trails, existing trails, 
and administrative roads in NERI as routes for bicycle use (77 FR 
51733). The proposed rule was available for a 60-day public comment 
period, from August 27, 2012 through October 26, 2012.

Summary of and Responses to Public Comment

    Comments were accepted through the mail, by hand delivery, and 
through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The 
NPS received 84 public comments during the comment period. Of these 
responses, 76 expressed support for the proposed rule. Three of the 
responses were from organizations, and the rest were from individuals. 
The two organizations that responded in support of the rule were the 
International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the Roanoke 
Chapter of IMBA. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility 
(PEER) responded in opposition to the rule. Some of the individuals who 
responded identified themselves as being affiliated with the following 
organizations: IMBA, Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE), 
Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC), Aarhus School of 
Architecture in Denmark, South Alabama Mountain Bike Association 
(SAMBA), Lower Arkansas Valley Mountain Biking Association (LAMBA), 
Greater Lynchburg Off-Road Cyclists, Pisgah Area Southern Off-Road 
Bicycle Association (SORBA), Winchester Wheelmen, and West Virginia 
Mountain Bike Association (WVMBA).
    The 76 supporting comments expressed nine central themes:
    1. Off-road bicycle use is environmentally appropriate and can 
contribute to protection of natural and cultural resources because many 
individuals who are avid off-road bicyclists voluntarily participate in 
trail maintenance, such as by cleaning up debris.
    2. The regulation is consistent with nearly 30 years of planning 
and public involvement at NERI and embraces elements of the America's 
Great Outdoors Initiative launched by President Obama.
    3. Allowing off-road bicycle use is consistent with other uses of 
NERI, such as climbing, hiking, kayaking, and whitewater rafting.
    4. The authorization of off-road bicycle use in NERI will provide 
our nation's youth with new and exciting opportunities to participate 
in outdoor recreation activities. Providing younger members of society 
with off-road bicycling opportunities encourages them to develop a 
sense of pride and ownership in the trails they ride and maintain.
    5. Allowing off-road bicycle use will make remote parts of NERI 
more accessible to some visitors who want to experience the full 
breadth of resources in the park.
    6. Allowing off-road bicycle use is important for public health and 
contributes to healthy, active lifestyles.
    One West Virginia resident remarked,

Mountain biking is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all 
ages. I started mountain biking in 2007 in an attempt to continue 
enjoying the outdoors after surviving cancer. I'm a 55 year old who 
loves the outdoors and have hiked and camped since my childhood. 
Mountain biking is easier on my knees than hiking and is very 

    7. Off-road bicycling is an affordable activity that encourages 
positive outdoor experiences for families.
    8. Allowing off-road bicycle use is an important draw for tourism 
and a catalyst for economic development in the New River Gorge area, as 
it attracts visitors from all over the country.
    9. Bicycle trails in NERI have been the center point for 
partnerships and community development, such as the volunteer efforts 
of the Boy Scouts to build the Arrowhead Trail. If permanent access for 
bicycle use is allowed, these relationships will continue to flourish, 
building a sense of stewardship among trail users and park staff.
    Some commenters supported the new bike rule but also asked 
questions for which the NPS has prepared responses. The questions are 
paraphrased and answered below:
    1. Question: Will commercial tours be authorized on the new trails? 
If so, will there be licensing requirements for tour companies, and 
will private citizens be able to make complaints on the conduct of 
commercial groups?
    Response: The Trails EA states, on page 35, ``special events, 
special uses and large group use of all proposed trails would be 
subject to existing park policies and regulations.'' Commercial bike 
tours require, and are subject to the conditions of, a NPS Commercial 
Use Authorization. Using the discretionary authority of 36 CFR 1.5 and 
1.7 (Superintendent's Compendium) the Superintendent has established 
size limits and guest-to-guide ratios for commercially led hiking and 

[[Page 73094]]

groups. There is also a daily park-wide limit on the number of 
commercially led hiking and bicycling groups that may use the park. The 
park will continue to use these authorities to adaptively manage 
commercially led groups to address issues such as user conflict. 
Citizens always have the ability to make complaints on the conduct of 
commercial groups or any other issues concerning visitor use or park 
management. For general complaints, contact the park headquarters at 
(304) 465-0508.
    2. Question: Are there procedures in place to mitigate the impacts 
on bats if the wildlife habitat survey missed the presence of a bat 
nursery colony tree?
    Response: The Trails EA includes mitigations to protect wildlife in 
Section 2.6.3, with a sub-section on mitigations specific to bats on 
page 37. The wildlife surveys, conducted by park staff or contractors 
and which have occurred or would occur along corridors within which the 
trail would be constructed, identify trees that are potentially 
important for bat habitat. The NPS understands that some trees would 
need to be removed for trail construction. Therefore, the NPS will 
inspect every tree proposed for removal that is greater than or equal 
to five inches diameter breast height (>=5'' DBH) for the presence of 
and evidence of use by bats. Trees that are identified as active bat 
habitat would be avoided through a re-routing of the proposed trail. 
Trees that are free of evidence of active bat use would only be removed 
between November 15 and March 31 to minimize the impacts to locally-
present bat species. The incorporation of this mitigation measure into 
the trail design and construction process should minimize the 
possibility of removing a tree used by bats. Because there is always 
the chance that a bat could be missed, no matter how thorough the 
survey and inspection processes, the park recommended a determination 
of May Affect, but Not Likely to Adversely Affect under Section 7 of 
the Endangered Species Act, indicating that unintended failure to 
detect roosting bats along proposed trail routes may have indirect 
adverse impacts on some bats. However, adverse impacts to federally 
listed bat species (Indiana and Virginia big-eared bats) are not 
anticipated. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurred with the 
park's recommendation.
    3. Question: Will areas closest to colonized bat caves or mine 
shafts be monitored?
    Response: NERI does not have any caves, but mine shafts throughout 
the park, whether or not they are located along or near trails, are 
already regularly monitored for bat activity.
    4. Question: The first page of the FONSI states that the Boy Scouts 
of America (BSA) have requested to ``bring about 2,000 volunteers to 
the park during June and July 2011 to construct new trails and 
participate in resource rehabilitation.'' The time period has passed. 
Are the Boy Scouts still interested in volunteering or is more funding 
required? If the proposed regulation is approved, will there be funding 
to start the trail rehabilitation and stop the damage of prohibited 
    Response: Over 1,400 youth volunteers from the BSA, Order of the 
Arrow, along with numerous supporting adult volunteers, came to NERI 
over four weeks in July 2011. They contributed about 80,000 hours of 
work, estimated at about a $1.6 million dollar value, to construct the 
13 miles of trail formerly known as the Craig Branch Stacked Loop Trail 
System and subsequently renamed the Arrowhead Trail. As part of the 
trail construction project, the volunteers created barriers to close 
off access from the trail corridor to abandoned logging roads and off-
road vehicle (ORV) tracks. After trail construction, there were a few 
reports of ORV riders attempting to use the trails, but the high level 
of authorized use the area now gets, coupled with the efforts of the 
local cycling community and NPS law enforcement staff, has effectively 
ended ORV use in the Craig Branch area. The BSA has expressed interest 
in volunteering for future multi-use (hike and bike) trail construction 
and maintenance projects in NERI.
    5. Question: While I support off-road bicycling in NERI, I am 
concerned about the number of alternatives evaluated in the EIS. Why 
did you not include more alternatives that proposed less mileage of 
newly constructed trail? I feel that the No Action Alternative did not 
sufficiently account for this possibility.
    Response: The No Action Alternative is meant to represent a 
continuation of current management to serve as a baseline for analysis 
of impacts to the human environment. The EIS and related ROD are 
associated with the park's new GMP, which approved the concept of trail 
development throughout the park and bicycle use on some trails, as 
appropriate. The EIS is an umbrella document addressing management 
concepts for the entire park and does not address specific trail or 
mileage alternatives.
    The Trails EA is the site-specific document that analyzes the 
impacts of the development and use of each individual trail. The NPS is 
required to consider a range of action alternatives when project 
scoping produces substantively different management or development 
approaches to meeting a project's purpose and need. Therefore, we 
considered alternatives of developing new trails primarily on existing, 
though unsustainable routes and developing new trails that generally 
avoided the use of existing routes. The latter was determined to be a 
more sustainable alternative that would cause fewer adverse impacts, 
such as erosion and stream sedimentation.
    Of the eight comments received in opposition to the proposed 
regulation, three were submitted by one individual, two of which were 
identical. The NPS has addressed these concerns below.
    1. Comment: The NPS has failed to adequately address safety 
concerns that are inherent in multi-use trails.
    Response: Designating trails as routes open to bicycle use that 
have traditionally been used only by pedestrians is not expected to 
create unsafe conditions for trail users. Trails designated for bicycle 
use will be identified on maps, interpretive kiosks, and the park's Web 
site, and notices will be posted at trailheads and other appropriate 
locations. Trail users will be aware of the multiple uses occurring on 
those trails prior to using them. Additionally, the regulation includes 
provisions that bicyclists must yield to equestrians and pedestrians by 
slowing down to a safe speed, being prepared to stop, establishing 
communication, and passing safely. Failure to yield is prohibited, and 
violators may be ticketed. If a trail proves unsafe for multiple uses, 
the Superintendent may restrict or terminate bicycle use, including 
possible temporary closures if seasonal conditions make multiple uses 
    The Trails EA evaluated potential impacts to park resources and 
visitor experience that would result from opening certain existing 
trails to bicycle use. The NPS determined that bicycle use on those 
trails is appropriate and found that there will be no significant 
adverse impacts to resources or visitors as a result of that use.
    2. Comment: Mountain biking in NERI is unnecessary and would 
contribute to deterioration of the environment.
    Response: The NPS is mandated by Congress to conserve park 
resources and values and to provide for the enjoyment of the parks. If 
there is a conflict between the conservation provision and the 
enjoyment provision, conservation is predominant and controlling. 
Through the impact analysis in the Trails EA, the NPS determined that 
opening trails to bicycle use in NERI

[[Page 73095]]

will have no significant impact on, and will not impair, park resources 
or values. The adverse impacts to park resources that would occur from 
bicycle use are expected to be slightly different than the impacts of 
pedestrian use, but of no greater magnitude. Protection of land and 
water resources in the park remains a top priority, and environmental 
conditions will be monitored and will not be allowed to deteriorate as 
a result of bicycle use on designated trails.
    3. Comment: Under the Clean Water Act, the NPS may not authorize 
off-road bicycling through streams and other waterways.
    Response: Off-road bicycle use in NERI will be regulated in 
accordance with all relevant federal laws. Where existing trails that 
would be opened to bicycle use cross an intermittent or perennial 
stream, a bridge elevates trail users out of the course of the stream. 
On newly constructed trails, mitigations are built into the 
construction plans that will minimize erosion and protect streams from 
sedimentation. Additionally, the Trails EA states that bridges or 
bottomless culverts will be used where trails cross perennial or 
intermittent streams, thus keeping all trail users out of the 
streambeds. The Trails EA further states that crossings of ephemeral 
channels would be minimized, and if an ephemeral stream crossing is 
unavoidable, trails will cross perpendicular to the channel direction, 
minimizing the amount of streambed affected by trail use. Streamflow 
characteristics and water quality are protected by these measures.
    4. Comment: The NPS decision to authorize bike use in NERI may have 
been unduly influenced by special interest groups who solicit public 
comments in support of their agenda.
    Response: The NPS issued press releases, purchased newspaper ads, 
and held a public meeting to solicit public comments on the Trails EA. 
Press releases were similarly issued to solicit public comment on the 
proposed rule. The public has had reasonable opportunities to comment 
on decisions regarding bicycle use. While any interest group is free to 
advertise public comment opportunities and solicit or advocate 
responses, the number of comments received from an interest group is 
not the controlling factor in our decision to designate trails for 
bicycle use. As stated above, resource conservation is a higher 
priority than use for management of NPS lands, and decisions are made 
    5. Comment: The NPS authorization of off-road bicycle use at NERI 
does not allow the NPS enough control over irresponsible behavior by 
visitors and potential damages to park resources.
    Response: Most organized mountain bike organizations subscribe to a 
``code of ethics'' (e.g. New England Mountain Bike Association: A 
Mountain Bicyclist's Guide to Responsible Riding). However, it is our 
experience that most user groups have a small percentage of 
participants who fail to respect rules and other recreational users. 
Trail design and management at NERI is structured to encourage 
appropriate use of the trails and to provide a positive experience that 
makes trail users of all types want to stay within the designed trail 
tread. If any cyclists behave in an unsafe manner or harm park 
resources, they can be cited for regulatory violations and subject to 
criminal penalty, as can any other irresponsible park visitors.
    Mountain bikers are not being offered unconditional access to park 
resources. The final rule and NPS policy include provisions for the 
Superintendent to adaptively manage, and if necessary, restrict or 
prohibit bicycle use on trails if such actions are required for 
resource protection or visitor safety.
    6. Comment: The FONSI wrongly concluded that the construction of an 
estimated 40 miles of new bicycle trails in the Craig Branch and Garden 
Ground areas of NERI had only insignificant impacts. The Trails EA and 
the FONSI are seriously flawed because they failed to analyze the 
precedent-setting nature of the proposal to construct trails to provide 
mountain bicycle opportunities.
    Response: In revisions to the service-wide regulations on bicycles 
found at 36 CFR 4.30 the NPS stated: ``The National Park Service . . . 
believes that, with proper management, bicycling is an appropriate 
recreational activity in many park areas. In other areas, due to safety 
or other concerns, bicycling may not be appropriate'' (77 FR 29927, 
July 6, 2012). Through the FONSI, the NPS determined for NERI only, 
that development of the new multi-use (hike and bike) trails referenced 
in the comment and opening certain existing trails to bicycle use are 
consistent with the protection of park resources and appropriate at 
NERI. The Trails EA does not set precedent for bicycle use in the NPS. 
Several other units of the NPS have developed multi-use (hike and bike) 
trails and opened them to bicycle use through the promulgation of 
special regulations. Additionally, the service-wide regulation on 
bicycle use (36 CFR 4.30) establishes a process for Superintendents to 
determine whether that use is or is not appropriate.
    7. Comment: The NPS has failed to adequately analyze the impacts of 
bicycling because the 2010/2011 GMP postdates the Trails EA and does 
not cover bicycle trails.
    Response: The 1982 GMP very generally provides for the management 
of off-road bicycle use in the park, and the 1993 Trail Development 
Plan emphasizes the creation of a trail system for multiple uses, 
including bicycling. The 2011 Trails EA tiered to the 1982 GMP as the 
only current management guidance for NERI at the time the FONSI was 
signed, but referenced public input from the 2010/2011 GMP development 
process and new information about the existing conditions in the park's 
environment that became available through the development of the 2010/
2011 GMP. The decision in the FONSI is consistent with both the 1982 
GMP and the 2010/2011 GMP, which proposed (and the ROD approved) the 
concept of bicycle use on trails in NERI, the development of three 
stacked loop multi-use (hiking and biking) trail systems (including 
those in the Craig Branch and Garden Ground areas), and promulgation of 
a special regulation to authorize that use.
    8. Comment: The studies cited in the Trails EA are scientifically 
    Response: Several of the studies specifically referenced in the 
full text of this comment were used to evaluate the potential impacts 
described in the impact analysis in the Trails EA. These reference 
materials are peer-reviewed and professionally published studies that 
provide the best available science on impacts of mountain biking. The 
impact analysis is specific to the park and the local ecosystem, and 
the studies in question provide general background information to the 
analysis to make it more robust and accurate. The impact analysis in 
the Trails EA produced a finding that no significant adverse impacts to 
the human environment would result from the proposed action, including 
opening the trails referenced in this rule to bicycle use.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    After consideration of the public comments, the park has decided 
that no substantive changes are necessary in the final rule, although 
some text was altered for clarity.

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 (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget will 
review all

[[Page 73096]]

significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not 
    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, record keeping, 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)

    This rule does not affect a taking of private property or otherwise 
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630. This rule only 
designates bicycle routes and manages bicycle use on those routes 
within the boundaries of the New River Gorge 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 
affects 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 

Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department 

    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 
    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 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) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and 
a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the PRA is 
not required. We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to 
respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently 
valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement 
under the NEPA of 1969 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 

Drafting Information

    The primary authors of this rule were Jamie Fields, NPS New River 
Gorge National River; Russel J. Wilson and C. Rose Wilkinson, NPS 
Regulations and Special Park Uses, Washington, DC.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the NPS amends 36 CFR Part 7 as 

[[Page 73097]]


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

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

2. In Sec.  7.89 add 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 allowed:
    (i) On park roads and in parking areas; and
    (ii) On administrative roads and trails authorized for bicycle use 
as listed in the following table.

Administrative Roads and Trails Authorized for Bicycle Use--North to 

Hawks Nest Connector Trail
Fayetteville Trail
Park Loop Trail
Timber Ridge Trail
Kaymoor Trail
Craig Branch Trail
Arrowhead Trail
Long Point Trail (except 0.2 miles closest to Long Point Vista)
Keeneys Creek Rail Trail
Headhouse Trail
Tipple Trail
Seldom Seen Trail
Nuttallburg Town Loop Connector Trail
Brooklyn Mine Trail
Brooklyn Miner's Connector Trail
Southside Trail
Rend Trail
Stone Cliff Trail
Terry Top Trail
Garden Ground Stacked Loop Trail
Little Laurel Trail
Mud Turn Trail
Glade Creek Trail
Panther Branch Connector Trail
    (2) How will I know where these administrative roads and trails are 
located in the park? The administrative roads and trails where bicycle 
use is authorized are identified on maps located in the 
Superintendent's office, at park visitor centers, at interpretive 
kiosks, and on the park's Web site. Additional information about 
bicycling will also be posted at appropriate trailheads and other 
    (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 
    (iii) Failure to yield is prohibited.
    (4) How will the Superintendent manage bicycle use where it is 
authorized? The Superintendent may close park and administrative roads, 
parking areas and trails, or portions thereof, reopen the same, 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 one or more of the methods listed in Sec.  1.7 of this 
    (ii) Violating a closure, condition, or restriction is prohibited.

    Dated: November 20, 2013.
Rachel Jacobson,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2013-29087 Filed 12-4-13; 8:45 am]